By Margie Hanrahan
you going? Mike said, as I began driving my car in the wrong direction.
It wasn’t often I knew where I was going, but today I had a mission.
"I’m going to the Blasdell Fire Hall," I said in a
determined voice. "Remember they tried to help those ducks a few
months ago? Someone HAS to have a ladder we can use." I couldn’t
stand the thought of our little dustball being subjected to captivity
all his life, just because we couldn’t reach his house. Mike Olek and
I had gone back to the site to figure out a way to return the baby bird
back to his parents. It was a long way up, but the area was clear enough
to reach, if we only had a long ladder.
happened to be standing in front of the fire hall. I pulled my car along
side her. "Excuse me, you wouldn’t happen to be involved with the
fire hall would you?" "No, she said, but you see those two
guys over there?" she said pointing to the parking lot. "They’re
firemen." "Great," I said, "Thank you very
much." I pulled in just as the two were about to leave and motioned
them. As luck would have it, we had happened to run into one of the
Blasdell Board of Fire Commissioners and the Fire Chief. Nothing like
going right to the top. Mike and I explained our dilemma. A baby Screech
Owl had fallen from its nest, just down the road apiece. There was
nothing wrong with it, except that he had a slight mishap and was
accidentally knocked from his nest. If we couldn’t return him to his
family, he would soon "imprint" on people (become so tame he
couldn’t be released) and then he would have to spend the rest of his
days in captivity, even though he was perfectly healthy. Much to our
surprise, they immediately said they would help us. I suppose they
figured better to go on the call now instead of later, after one of us
had fallen from the tree!
screech owl, Lint, received his name after Public Relations Director,
Heidi Tschopp stopped in to deliver some paperwork to the Olek’s.
"He looks like lint!" She said. And so he did.
cavity was about 25 feet up in the air. The Assistant Chief went
up to verify if we had truly found the nest hole. He substantiated our
suspicions when he said, "Well, I see a bunch of feathers,"
and "yep, I see other babies!". Mike and I were happy this was
confirmed and happy neither of us had to climb the tree. Neither one of
us are fond of heights. We waited for Noreen Olek to transport our
little buddy from his temporary housing after giving her a short notice.
In the meantime, we rifled my car to find a suitable hands free way of
carrying Lint. Some way to carry him other than in a pocket, I mused. We
decided to use a clear plastic bucket that was manageable enough to
carry and tall enough so that the owlet could not fall or climb out. I
believe the rescue team drew straws to see who would pop the little guy
back into his hole. The Chief lost. He donned his glove and without much
trouble, climbed the ladder and gently pushed Lint back into the hole
with his other brothers and sisters. Lint was now free.
of Lint, we would like to thank the Blasdell Fire Department for his
freedom and for their help to us in returning him back to where he
rightfully belongs. Without their assistance I’m sure I would have
been in traction right now.