Many viewers of the Barn Owl nest box camera, based near Tralee, were dismayed to see the female chick returning to the nest box covered in oil on Tuesday night. It seems she dived into an oil container in which a rat had been struggling, though luckily for her, she was able to fly just enough to return to the box, otherwise she might not have been seen to be in trouble. She was rescued the next day, and it is hoped, will make a full recovery. You can read the full story HERE.
Badly oiled Barn Owl, near Tralee, 5th September (M.O'Clery).
Badly oiled Barn Owl, near Tralee, 5th September (M.O'Clery). The wing and tail feathers cleaned up fairly well with the liberal application of warm water and detergent, however, the body feathers in particular were badly matted, and will need further cleaning. It is hoped the bird will recover sufficiently in the coming days to be returned to the nest box.
(Unfortunately the owl died on the 7th September despite making a good initial recovery. The cause of death was most likely ingestion of oil).