Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife responded to a report of an injured owl near a residence in Shady Cove Thursday.
The reported “baby” owl turned out to be a Northern Pygmy Owl, a small owl species not much larger than a baseball, OSP said.
The rescued owl appeared to have an injury to its wing and was released to the care of a wildlife rehabilitation center for evaluation, treatment, and hopefully release back to where it was found.
Although injured raptors are a common call for Fish and Wildlife troopers, the responding trooper said it was the first time he had encountered a Norther Pygmy Owl in person.
“We are thankful to have partnerships with nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation facilities who help save wildlife like this little Northern Pygmy Owl,” said Captain Kyle Kennedy. “We appreciate the commitment of their staff, volunteers, and donors who help us fulfill our mission of preserving and protecting Oregon’s natural resources.”
Northern Pygmy Owls are native to western North America including forested areas of Oregon including the Coast Range, Klamath Mountains, Cascade Mountains, and Blue Mountains.
Although small in stature, these little raptors can be fierce hunters preying on everything from mice, voles, and insects to small reptiles and amphibians such as lizards or frogs.
Unlike many species of owl, Northern Pygmy Owls are active during the day and hunt by sight rather than sound.