Driving east (30mph) on Slaterville/Harford road (Caroline?) at about 7:15PM yesterday evening, my companion and I were startled by a collision and accompanying loud thud on the passenger side of the windshield of my early model Nissan Sentra. After a few breathless seconds we stopped, turned around, and found the object of our unfortunate encounter--a gray Eastern Screech-owl, sitting motionless, eyes closed, right in the center of the poorly-lit road.
I pulled the car to the side of the animal and put my flashers on. Keeping the owl in the indirect beam of the headlights, I squatted close to take a look. It was clearly sitting upright, and there was no visible external damage. As soon as I was on the owl's level, it shuffled itself a bit and within a moment, opened wide its calm, yellow-green eyes. It turned its head and looked at me. I said some gentle words of sincere apology. It blinked, and made a single, plaintive noise that I can best describe as a sonorous peep. It was a ridiculously adorable creature. Still quite unsure of the overall condition of this being, I timidly stroked the back of its head. He bristled mildly. Sensing the bird was coming out of being stunned, I thought the most important thing was to determine whether the wings were damaged. I prodded a bit more insistently on its back, hoping to get it to stretch its appendages a bit. It obliged, and after the briefest of self-exploratory motions, the owl whisked itself out of sight into the adjacent woods. Marc Devokaitis Ithaca NY -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --