Local residents aid displaced owl family

HARRISTON – Several local residents worked together to help a displaced family of owls here recently.

Raglan Street resident Shirley Litt explained town workers came to cut some branches off a tree slated to be taken down on the corner of her lot on May 31. Later that afternoon, another local resident Sean Weed came by to make plans to pick up the wood.

“Sean walked around the corner of the house and he said ‘Do you know you have two baby owls in your lilac tree?’”


One of several owls to be seen in the trees around Litt’s property on June 2.


Litt said she immediately suspected the birds had been disturbed by the tree cutting.

“So then Sean looked up at vines on back of house and said, ‘I think there’s three more owls up in this vine – on the side of my house,’” Litt recalls.

Further investigation revealed another baby owl in the knot of one of the downed branches.


Litt surveys a downed branch where an injured owl was found.


Litt noted between the birds’ natural camouflage coloration and the fact the nocturnal birds wouldn’t have been active in the afternoon, Litt said it’s unlikely the town workers could have spotted them.

“I don’t think they could have seen them,” she said.

As the last bird they found seemed disoriented, Litt decided to contact local veterinarian Terry Fisk, who suspected it may have had a concussion. Fisk took the injured bird, plus the two from the lilac tree back to his office for treatment and safekeeping and suggested Litt contact the Owl Foundation.

June Yang from the foundation arrived the next day and with Fisk’s help the young birds were re-nested in a bird house Yang had brought with her.

“The owl foundation said it’s better if we can get them nesting,” Litt noted.

Yang returned on June 2 to check on the birds, with plans to take the injured one back to the foundation’s sanctuary if it hadn’t recovered. However, a check of the bird box revealed the owls had flown the coop and a scan of nearby trees revealed several owls among the branches.

After a search of the property revealed no sign of any injured  birds, Litt said Yang determined they had all probably survived the disruption.

“It’s kind of a delightful story … it’s been exciting watching them,” said Litt.