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Barred owl found trapped in Massachusetts fireplace

A barred owl was found trapped in a fireplace at a Massachusetts home.
A barred owl was found trapped in a fireplace at a Massachusetts home.(Marcus Scherer via MassWildlife)
Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 10:51 AM EST
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BOLTON, Mass. (Gray News) - A Massachusetts homeowner found quite the surprise in a fireplace when a barred owl found its way through the chimney.

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife said the owl likely found its way through the chimney at a home in Bolton while looking for a cavity to nest in.

Unfortunately, the owl became stuck in the fireplace, and MassWildlife’s Central District Manager Todd Olanyk carefully removed the bird from the home.

MassWildlife Central District Manager Todd Olanyk rescued a barred owl from a fireplace.
MassWildlife Central District Manager Todd Olanyk rescued a barred owl from a fireplace.(Marcus Scherer via MassWildlife)

The owl was checked for injuries before being released back into the wild.

State wildlife experts say barred owls may find chimneys enticing during this time of year because they begin laying eggs from February through May. Since they don’t build their own nests, they look for cavities.

MassWildlife has received similar reports of this happening with other birds like kestrels and mergansers.

The state recommends homeowners place a metal cap with a screen on their chimneys to prevent wild animals from ending up in fireplaces.

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