Rescued Owl Falters
That makes two barred owls to appear at local homes recently.
A barred owl found at a Swampscott home on Thursday was the second such owl to make an appearance at a local home in little more than a week.
The latest bird did not survive but the Beach Bluff Avenue family who found him in their yard under a tree and the animal control officer who brought him to an animal hospital tried to save him.
Thursday morning at about 7 Swampscott animal control officer Diane Treadwell was called to the Beach Bluff home, not far from Preston Beach. The owl was unable to stand and the residents had placed him in a box.
Treadwell drove him to the Danvers Animal Hospital which has a vet who specializes in raptor care.
The owl may have been stricken with a virus. He did not respond to medication and when his condition deteriorated he was euthanized, the officer said.
While she was at the veterinarians' clinic someone brought in another barred owl for treatment. It had a broken wing.
And about a week earlier, a barred owl took up residency briefly on a Millett Lane home's porch railing.
This was at the Fafel family's house, in Swampscott. That bird eventually flew to a nearby pine.
Barred owls have a striking appearance.
"They are a sturdy bird with beautiful talons and feathers," the animal control officer said.
They eat a varied diet including rodents, salamanders and fish.
According to Wingmasters, a New England nonprofit that teaches people about birds of prey, the barred owl has an impressive wingspan, 43 inches, which is especially long for such a light bird.
They are known as silent flyers but call out in various ways — they bay like a hound, scream, shriek and whistle. Their best-known call, according to the Wingmasters website, "is a series of eight accented hoots, in groups of four: hoohoo-hoohoo, hoohoo- hoohooaw. That descending note at the end is characteristic of the barred owl."