Ijams is noted for at least two wild barred owls (Strix varia), so accustomed to seeing people that they tend to be found perched low to the ground often near the Visitor Center.
This makes them very photogenic. Even a photographer with a short lens can usually get a good shot.
Yesterday, an injured barred owl was found on a branch near the Universal Trail. Its wing hung useless at its side. Was it injured in last week's hailstorm? Possibly.
Hoping to encourage it to move to the ground, Ijams staffers Paul Forsyth and Jennifer Roder nudged it with a downed branch Paul found on the ground. Instead the owl, perhaps weak from hunger, stepped up on the makeshift fishing pole, which allowed Paul and Jen to slowly lower it to our vet, Dr. Louise Conrad, who waited below.
Louise took the owl to UT's Veterinarian Teaching Hospital for treatment. No word yet on its condition.
Was it the same barred owl I photographed near the plaza four weeks ago? Perhaps. But let's hope not because that one is so laid-back it doesn't mind paparazzi.
- Text and photo by Stephen Lyn Bales