BATH, Maine — Bath police came to the rescue Wednesday night when a barred owl was found on the side of High Street, unable to fly.
Around 10 p.m., Officer Michael Jones and Animal Control Officer Jim McKnight responded to the scene after a driver reported the owl to police.
Jones and McKnight brought the bird back to the police station that night. On Thursday morning it was taken to Avian Haven in Freedom for rehabilitation.
Sadly, Avian Haven Executive Director Diane Winn said the owl had to be put down Thursday due to a shattered wrist and thus a broken wing.
Winn said Avian Haven has seen an increase in injured owls this time of year. She said Avian Haven took in 13 owls in October and eight already in November, including the one found in Bath.
One possible explanation for this, Winn said, is that babies are born in the spring and summer. By the time fall rolls around, the young owls are going out on their own to hunt for rodents. She said they often lack the literal "street smarts" needed to keep themselves safe. Since mice are attracted to trash, and litter is often near roadways, owls have been hit by vehicles while hunting for food.