So, it turns out that our little buddy was quite ill. Late Saturday afternoon we received two phone calls back from the rescue centers we had called. The first told us that this kind of behaviour was normal for an owl & that perhaps he was just tired from a long night of hunting which would explain why he was hanging out low to the ground on our rocks. This woman told us to keep an eye on the little fellow & if he was still there in the morning to call back.
The second call we received was much more helpful! The second woman who called back said that our little buddy likely was quite ill. She informed us that staying low to the ground was, in fact, NOT AT ALL normal behaviour for owls. She said that he likely had a head injury, possibly a concussion or a wing injury. Oh! She asked Colin if he was still sitting on the rocks & whether or not he thought he could catch the owl. As they were talking I went to check on the little guy again & he was gone! I quickly searched the area around the deck but still didn’t see him. We didn’t think he could have gotten far, but still, he was not where he had been. I ran inside to tell Colin he was missing. A second later, however, I spotted him in the yard. Our little owl was attempting to hop/fly towards our cedar hedge. The fact that he was not flying told us that he likely did have a wing injury. Colin told the woman from the rescue center he would try to catch the owl & call her back.
We both wished she had called about 20 minutes sooner. At that point, our little buddy still would have been on the rock & easy to catch. By the time we got outside, he had made his way into the cedar hedge making it harder to reach him. Colin headed into the bush to try to capture our friend. Luckily our friends coming for dinner arrived at the same time & Corey helped Colin to finally secure our little guy (though not without screeching at Colin first). Another phone call to the rescue woman & Colin & Corey were on their way to drop off our little buddy for rehabilitation. Turns out he is a Screech Owl, which is appropriate given the screeching he did at Colin. Lynn, the owl rescue woman was so appreciative that we had called her but also driven to meet her half way. Colin said she reached into the box immediately for our little friend.
After they dropped him off & returned home, Lynn, the owl rescue woman, texted Colin to say that little owl was in bad shape. Lynn informed us that he was emaciated & probably had not been able to hunt & therefore eat, for a couple of days. He was too weak too fly & he had a wing injury as his right wing was drooping lower than his left. Poor thing! What we believe now is that he was trying to get to our cedar hedge for shelter & warmth. Colin & I also feel that had Lynn not called us & had we not rescued him, our little owl might have died overnight. Thank goodness we got to him!
The best part of this whole story, I think, is that when he is well enough, Lynn will bring him back to our house to be released since that is his territory. It might take a while for him to get better, but at least our little buddy is well on his way to recovery!