The Washington Post

Elderly owl rescued in Fairfax County

The owl rescued by Fairfax County authorities. (Fairfax police/Courtesy photo)

And for four days, Fairfax County animal control officers dutifully responded to citizens’ alarmed calls, attempting to capture the bird, which was clearly in some type of distress, police said.

“Even a sick owl isn’t easy to capture,” said Lucy Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the Fairfax County police. “We would go out there and he would be gone or they couldn’t get him.”

It took days to rescue the owl in Fairfax County. (Fairfax police/Courtesy photo)

There was one small problem, according to police: The bird was clinging to a live power line.

Animal control officers couldn’t go near the wire, so they hit upon an un­or­tho­dox solution to capture the bird, police said. They resorted to towels.

With the help of Mount Vernon residents and firefighters, animal control officers threw the towels at the bird for an hour until one knocked it from its perch, police said.

The bird landed on a parking lot and it was netted as a growing number of onlookers snapped photographs, police said.

Finally, animal control officers got a glimpse of what was ailing the bird. One of the owl’s eyes was missing and the other was fogged by cataracts, police said. The animal was ill and malnourished and would not have been able to hunt effectively, authorities said.

The bird was delivered to the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia in Falls Church, where it is expected to survive, police said. However, it may have to live out its days in captivity because of its diminished ability to hunt, police said.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
What can babies teach students?
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
How a hacker group came to Washington
The woman behind the Nats’ presidents ‘Star Wars’ makeover
How hackers can control your car from miles away
Play Videos
Philadelphia's real signature sandwich
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained