HANOVER, Md. (WJZ)– Authorities were able to save an owl that was likely struck by a vehicle in Anne Arundel County Wednesday morning.
It just so happens that the Maryland Natural Resource Police officer that responded to the call about an owl in distress, is an avid bird watcher.
Chopper 13 was over Route 100, where the barred owl was spotted in the slow lane near Arundel Mills Mall.
Corporal Mike Lathroum heard the radio call and rushed to the rescue.
“It went into a classic display, where it will spread it’s wings out to the sides to make itself appear larger, but did not make any attempt to fly off,” Lathroum said.
With the help of an Anne Arundel County officer who was already there, Lathroum moved in.
“I placed my jacket over top of the owl to calm it down, also to contain it and then I was able to gain control of the feet, and once you have the feet, you have control of the bird,” he said.
The bird was taken to a wild life sanctuary and rehabilitation center called Frisky’s in Howard County.
“Eyes are good. Legs are good. Wings are good,”said Colleen Layton-Robbins, president and founder of Frisky’s. “She’s a little light. She’s a little weak, so whoever found her or noticed her, I think she was there for a short period of time, but long enough to go without a few meals.”
According to Natural Resources Police, birds of prey, like owls, often hunt near busy roads. It’s a good source for rodents, but it can also be treacherous.
“When they see a potential food item, they fly after it at that point they’re oblivious to the fact that there are vehicles traveling at highway speeds,” Lathroum said.
Lathroum is an bird-watcher, with many years of experience handling wild life.
“Just the right place at the right time,” he said.
WJZ was told dozens of people called and emailed to report the owl, and that’s why it was able to get the help it needed so quickly.
The caregivers at the sanctuary believe the owl may have been hurt by the high wind velocity near the highway. She has show some signs of recovery. She has already started perching and taking short flights.