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Wildlife Comments (3)

Wildlife Patients In Care: Barred Owl

Oct22

Barred Owl 102583 in ward cage, 101910 KM (2) Barred Owl 102583 in ward cage, 101910 KM (3) This owl was found on the ground in downtown Seattle on October 14. He appeared dazed and unable to fly. The bird was picked up and taken to the Seattle Animal Shelter and then transferred on to the PAWS Wildlife Center.

The wildlife center staff found no external signs of injury to the owl. We did give him supportive care for what we believed was a mild case of head trauma, possibly resulting from a window or vehicle collision.

Happily, after just a few days in care the owl improved dramatically. We moved him to an outdoor aviary and it appears that he will make a full recovery.

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Comments

He's a beauty, but where will he be released? A ranger informed me last summer that barred owls are not native to this area and they are pushing out the native spotted owls.

Hi Laurie,

Great question!

It’s true that Barred Owls were not historically found in the Pacific Northwest. The species underwent a range expansion in the second half of the 20th century and arrived in Western Washington in the early 1970s. Barred Owls do compete with Spotted Owls where their ranges overlap and the two species sometimes interbreed.

This Barred Owl came to PAWS from downtown Seattle, far from any suitable Spotted Owl habitat. He will be returned to Seattle for release, but in a suitable greenbelt rather than in the middle of downtown.

Thanks, Kevin - that's good to know. And good luck with the little guy!

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