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Owl recovering after surviving flight through methane fire

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 4:48 PM - A snowy owl is on the road to recovery after being rescued by a truck driver and an official from the WildNorth rehabilitation facility last week.

When she was found her wings had been singed to the quill, making it impossible to fly. The feathers on her chest were crispy to the touch and she looked malnourished.

"This bird must have flown through a methane flare," Dale Gienow, rescue coordinator with WildNorth, told the CBC.

"We don't know whether it was perched upon a stack and the flames came up and singed it, or if it literally flew through. At any rate, it must have been a very traumatic experience for the bird because she would have literally been on fire, flying through the air, until she didn't have enough feathers left and plummeted to the ground."

The bird's wings were singed to the quill. Photo credit: CBC/WildNorth

The bird did not appear to be injured from its fall, despite appearing sickly. Officials suspect it had been grounded for some time.

The owl was rescued after a truck driver spotted it running across a busy Edmonton Highway last week.

Officials say it isn't the first time they've rehabilitated an owl who had flown through a methane flare, and it will have to stay in captivity for at least a year to give her feathers time to grow back.

The owl is said to be gaining strength.

"It seems like she's doing really well," Gienow told the CBC.

"This one's a real survivor."

Source: CBC



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