Posted by: atowhee | October 20, 2009

Ashland: The Bard and the Barred

The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots and wonders At our quaint spirits.”                                       — “Midsummer Night’s Dream”  by The Bard

Of course Ashland, Oregon, is known most widely as home of a Shakespeare Festival.  To wit, an enterprise inspired and fuelled by the works of The Bard.

Well, today there was also some of the Barred in barred owl 10-20Ashland as well:













This poor emaciated Barred Owl was sitting on the fence along Pioneer Trail not far from tha Ashland Park Dept. headquarters.  He was less than four feet off the ground and flies were already drawn to his motionless body.  He did open his eyes to look at me.  When I slipped a feed sack over his body and lifted him off, he was a true featherweight.  Hollow bones, a struggling heart and feathers.  Very little flesh on those bones.

October 27 update: this owl did not survive.  The folks at Wildlife Images tried to save it, but the creature had an advanced sinus infection that had already reached the brain.  The bird was euthanized.  

My sister-in-law had seen him while she was walking her dogs.  When Kate and I arrived to look for him, he had drawn a small crowd of amazed onlookers. I thought his serious talons might be a threat but he was too weak to even move when I picked him up.

I delivered him to Wildlife Images near Merlin.  They have not had a Barred Owl in the past two years.  They get numerous turkeys, Scrub-Jays, Crows, Robins, and Screech-Owls.  It was a tough call not to leave him to his natural fate.  I know that Barred Owls are a threat to the native Spotted Owls in our deeper forests.  But this particular bird did not create the situation.  I will find out in a couple of days if this young Barred Owl has survived.wodu 10-20










There were many Wood Ducks in the pond at Wildlife Images.  Here are three.


  1. What a sad sight. Glad you were able to help.

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