Barred Owl Rescued From Inside Bolton Homeowner's Fireplace

BOLTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A large owl was rescued from inside a Massachusetts homeowner's fireplace earlier this month.

MassWildlife said Friday it received a phone call from a homeowner in Bolton in early February, reporting that an owl had found its way into their chimney and was now sitting in the fireplace.

Experts said the barred owl was likely looking for a cavity to nest in when it found itself in the chimney with no easy escape.

MassWildlife Central District Manager Todd Olanyk responded, and carefully removed the owl from the fireplace. He examined it for injuries before releasing it outside, where it quickly flew away.

"If you’re wondering why a barred owl would be attracted to a chimney, a look at their life history might give a clue," the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife said. "From February through May, barred owls across Massachusetts begin laying eggs. Barred owls do not build their own nests. They are cavity nesters, meaning they typically will select a hollow tree or use the nest of a hawk or squirrel to lay their eggs."

MassWildlife said the agency has also received several reports of this issue occurring with other cavity-nesting birds like American kestrels and mergansers.

To help prevent wild animals like birds, bats, raccoons, or squirrels from entering your home, MassWildlife recommends placing a metal cap with a screen on chimneys.

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Written by Brit Smith

(Photo: MassWildlife/Marcus Scherer)

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