One barred owl is lucky to be alive this new year after an unfortunate encounter with a truck. According to WCAX, the owl was flying low over a Vermont roadway on December 11 when it was hit head on at 55 miles per hour and became wedged in the truck's grill. The driver pulled over and discovered the bird was still alive, and contacted the state's fish and wildlife department as soon as possible. Wildlife officials freed the bird, which was none the worse for its ordeal, and released it near the accident area.
Vehicles are a major threat to owls, but drivers can minimize the risk of collisions by slowing down in agricultural or wooded areas, particularly at night and during twilight periods when owls are more active. A driver who does hit an owl should not attempt to free the bird themselves if it is stuck - the bird's talons are powerful and uncertain handling can stress or injure the bird further.
Want to see more owls without any vehicle risks? Learn how to go owling!
Photo © Ralph Daily