Barn Owl Rescued From Mothball Fleet On Suisun Bay

WALNUT CREEK (KCBS) – An unusual stowaway discovered aboard an old oiler of the mothball fleet in the Suisun Bay will soon be returned to the wild, officials at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum said Friday.

The fledgling barn owl rescued recently had been hurt, though not badly, in a confrontation with an osprey that also decided to nest in the overhang section of the ship.

“We see a lot of youngsters getting into trouble this time of year because they are not skilled at hunting,” said Polly Gusa, a docent manager at the museum.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

Gusa said the Lindsay helps rehabilitate about 150 barn owls every year. Most are set free, and the few that stay behind delight visitors with their white faces and fluffy brown plumage.

Museum director Susan Heckley said this is the first time the Lindsay had sent a rescue crew aboard one of the aging ships, though she was not surprised to learn barn owls had found habitat in the mothball fleet.

“Because there aren’t a whole lot of barns left, they’ll take any kind of cavity nesting spot they can,” Heckley said.

She suspects this barn owl had grown up on the ship since it had not fully mastered the art of flying. It could even have died if it landed out on the water, she said.

The museum expects to release the owl in the next few weeks.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • Shelley L. Jividen

    “My Favorite”
    The Rodriguez Little Owl is known only from leg & beak fragments. The anonymous Relation de l’lle de Rodrigue describes it as ‘very like the brown owl, and eats small birds & lizards. Mostly they dwell in trees, & always utter the same cry at night time when they except fine weather. However, when they think the weather will be poor you do not hear them.’ ~Strigidae;Athene murivora; Extinct c. 1850 Rodriguez ~Vanished Species by David Day, 1981. I am a Mimic sketch artist & had been working on him since 2008, this year I pulled him out while there was bad weather in my life…he didn’t sing. Now I have to start all over to revive his heart…saddened look. Owls are most precious to my soul!!, & 40 means wisdom! So glad your lil’ Sailor owl is Revived of spirit! «Republican Air Force Mom«

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