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Snowy owl rescued in Phippsburg dies from injuries

Diane Winn, executive director of Avian Haven, said while she is not sure, it is likely the bird was hit by a car while hunting.
Credit: Caroline Skroski

PHIPPSBURG, Maine — A snowy owl rescued by Phippsburg Police Chief John Skroski died shortly after being admitted to Avian Haven. The bird was named Percy.

Diane Winn, executive director of Avian Haven, told the Portland Press Herald that the exact cause of death is unknown, but the body was sent to Project Snowstorm, a snowy owl research organization. 

Winn said the bird was in very poor health when it arrived.  An X-ray revealed soft tissue damage to the left wing and organ damage consistent with a traumatic impact. She said the bird was most likely struck by a car, a common cause of death for owls. 

Winn told the Press Herald, “When people throw food from their cars it attracts mice to the roads. Owls are hunting near roads at night because that’s where the mice are. It isn’t the only explanation as to why owls get hit by cars, but it is one explanation.” 

Though the owl didn’t survive, Chief Skroski said he’s thankful he had the opportunity to help the injured bird and is touched at the response it sparked in the community.

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