Thursday, January 17, 2013

Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia

We were flagged down by a screech owl this past summer.  My wife and I were traveling home from looking at a PIMBY job when we saw him kind of standing mid-lane (there was of course only one lane) and waving.

We were astounded and a bit befuddled about what to do.  He was hurt and it was obvious that he wasn't going to fair well if left by the side of the road so we bundled him up and headed toward home.

This was a Friday evening and I remember thinking that we were probably going to have this little fellow until Monday or until he checked out.  But we lucked out and found a fantastic resource in Jo Santiago (Flying Higher LLC) and the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia.  Jo met us at 10PM in a Walmart parking lot and she was immediately able to begin re-hydrating the owl.  The next day, Saturday, she shuttled him to the ACCA in Morgantown where he underwent surgery for two broken legs.

I had no idea that surgery for a wounded bird was even a possibility. Amazing!  Not only that, but there is this really impressive network of dedicated volunteers in West Virginia who can help injured birds.  I brought home a copy of our county paper last week and was pleased to see a photo of Jo helping to release a red-shouldered hawk that she and the ACCA had been able to help.

Our little screech owl died.  The trauma to his head etc just proved to be too much.  They really are such wonderful delicate creatures.  Despite the sad end we were really heartened to have found such a great group of people in our state.  If you find an injured bird call the hotline (304) 906-5438.  Last year the ACCA treated 40 different species (about 120 birds total).