Spotted owl hit by car | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Spotted owl hit by car

A California spotted owl struck by a vehicle at Camp Richardson Saturday awaits a physical examination at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care from a veterinarian.

The endangered bird was picked up by an El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputy, who called the wildlife care center late that night to notify Director Cheryl Millham of the find.

Millham said the owl, which was bleeding from its ears and mouth, suffered severe eye trauma. The director gave it fluids and has tried to stabilize the male bird as best she can. He’s weak, but he’s standing up.



“We need to give him every chance (of living) with the support he needs,” Millham said.

California Department of Fish and Game Capt. Mark Lucero said motorists hitting birds are common at this time of year, as birds are out more in the spring.




Owls are nocturnal, thus their chance encounters with humans are at night.

Unlike their cousin the California spotted owl injured Saturday, the northern spotted owl is rare in the Lake Tahoe Basin, Fish and Game Associate Wildlife Biologist Terri Weist indicated.

Weist, who started with the Rancho Cordova office two weeks ago, should know. She hails from Humboldt County, a hot spot for environmentalists trying to protect the bird from logging.

Spotted owls are distinguished by their large dark eyes and signature high-pitched hoots that sound like the barking of a small dog.

Bird watchers tend to identify the birds by sound.


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