On an early November morning the West Midlands Fire Service received a call from a member of the public about an animal stuck in a tree. However, it wasn’t the stereotypical cat, but a tawny owl!
The unfortunate bird had become entangled in discarded fishing line 10 metres up in a tree in Walsall and had likely been stuck for most of the night.
The owl was safely brought down with the help of the RSPCA and was found to have damage to the feathers on its left wing.
As a result, it was taken to the charity’s Stapeley Grange wildlife centre in Nantwich, Cheshire, where it received an unlikely treatment.
“The owl’s damaged feathers were held over steam from a kettle for a few seconds and this helped them to naturally repair back together,” says Bev Panto, a vet at Stapeley Grange. “It sounds like an odd treatment but it is simple and it works.”
“The owl is currently in our isolation unit where it is recovering well. Soon it will move into our aviary before being released back into the wild”.
Tawny owls are a common nocturnal species found all around England, Scotland and Wales. At night they will leave their roost to hunt for small mammals, frogs and invertebrates.
Main image: The tawny owl was treated for a damaged wing. © RSPCA