Messinger Woods Wildlife Care & Education Center, Inc.
South Vermont Hill Road, Holland, N.Y.

Human Interest Article's ... This Month's Feature: Lint

Lint Free
By Margie Hanrahan"Lint"... A Baby Screech Owl

Where are 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.

A woman 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 ScreechLint Was Smaller Than A Leather Glove! 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!

Our baby 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 soThe Blasdell Fire Department to Lint's Rescue! he did.

The tree 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.Lint and The Fire Chief Make the Ascent to the Nest!

On behalf 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.

Local Newspaper Article About Lint's Rescue!

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