The Animal Rescue League of Boston came to the aid of a Great Horned Owl fledgling which was “likely abandoned” by its parents and stuck in a tree on a property abutting the Oakley Country Club in Watertown.
The group’s Field Services Department came to the fledgling’s rescue on Thursday after it had been spotted about 30 feet up in the tree earlier in the week by a resident who then contacted ARL after not seeing the young bird move for several days, according to a release by organization.
“The rescue itself was not easy,” ARL said. “With the property abutting the golf course and separated by a rock wall and a tall net, one ARL agent was deployed on the residential property side, while a second agent was positioned on the golf course.”
The ARL agents attempted to secure the owl with an extended net, but it remained just out of reach and repositioned itself in surrounding branches despite not being able to fly in order to avoid the net, the group added.
“ARL agents then deployed a throw weight around the branch, and after shaking the branch, the owl glided down,” ARL said.
The fledgling landed on the golf course around the 11th hole fairway and once on the ground, one of the ARL agents was able to safely secure the owl with a net, according to ARL.
The young male owl is estimated to be between four to six weeks old and is too young to be living on its own as it can not properly fly nor hunt, ARL said.
ARL said the fledgling is in “good condition” and it was transported to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in North Grafton, where it will be treated and re-released back into the wild in the area it was found.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston, founded in 1899, provides veterinary care, adoption and rescue services for animals in need while also confronting root causes of animal cruelty and neglect through community programs, police investigations and public advocacy.
ARL served over 23,000 animals throughout Massachusetts in 2021, it said, and relies on the generosity of supporters as it does not receive public funding or government grants.