On November 8th 2021 I received an early morning call from Niagara County Dispatch, requesting my assistance with an injured owl on Route 104 in Lewiston. Upon arrival, I was met by several Lewiston Police officers who pointed out a large, male, great-horned owl under a pine tree, in distress with an apparent broken wing.
As I approached the owl with my throw-net, it spread its wings to take off and I cast the net several feet ahead, catching it in mid-flight. With its talons latched into the net, it took twenty minutes to untangle the bird and get it into a carrier for transport to the Erie County SPCA where Wildlife Vet, Karen Slote, determined there was no broken wing, but through an X-Ray determined that the owl was suffering from severe bumble foot. Following a two-hour surgery to remove the potentially lethal, infectious lesions, his feet were bandaged and he is currently being “wintered over” at the SPCA and is expected to make a full recovery.