A barred owl that took a wild ride over the weekend appears to be doing well after being taken for treatment at a rehabilitation center on Hatteras Island.
“Never a good sign to see feathers in the grill,” read a post on the Facebook page for Hatteras Island Wildlife Rehabilitation on Saturday.
The owl collided with the front of a car on U.S. 17 around Jacksonville. Turns out the raptor was stuck behind the grill for at least three hours until the driver got home in Southern Shores and discovered the stowaway.
After the owl was extracted, it was brought it back to the facility in Frisco that specializes in care for injured raptors and certain reptiles.
“Seems to be feeling much better today,” according to an update posted Sunday afternoon. “A little worse for wear, but nothing major wrong. Sort of a good luck/bad luck situation.”
Hatteras Island Wildlife Rehabilitation founder Lou Browning told The News and Observer this is “fairly common” and that many owls are killed or hurt this time of year.
Owls are out hunting more when it’s cold because they need more calories, he said, and more people are on the road at dusk, when owls are hunting, because of the time change.
He said if an owl is standing on the side of the road it’s “not natural” and it may have “temporary blindness” from impact. It’s important to quickly call rescuers to get the owl.
Adult barred owls are between 16 and 25-inches-tall, with a wingspan of 38 to 49 inches.
The rich baritone hooting of the barred owl is a characteristic sound in southern swamps, where members of a pair often will call back and forth to each other, according to The Audubon Society.
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.