Sheriff’s deputies rescue injured owl in Montgomery County

Montgomery County

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A young owl who was seriously injured when it was struck by a vehicle was saved by first responders who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

In this case, the injured owl didn’t need to call 911 for help. It just happened to be yards away from the entrance to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Thomas Flickinger and his colleague Deputy Collins helped rescue the bird that had likely been struck by a vehicle on 5S in Fultonville.

The deputies carefully placed it in a box and contacted local rehabber, Sarah Austin of Sarah’s Birds of Prey. She credited them for saving the bird’s life. “If this animal survives they definitely saved its life 100%. I can say that with absolute certainty.”

Austin is now caring for the bird, which she says is a female barred owl that sustained significant injuries. “Head trauma and a wing fracture. She has some indications of some pretty significant head trauma right now,” added Austin.

She says owls enjoy hunting for rodents near roadways as they skitter out from the cover of brush and grass. It helps them zero in on their prey, but it can also lead to danger on a busy roadway. Her advice for anyone who comes across an injured bird is to try to safely coax them off a roadway and away from further danger.

But she warned good samaritan humans to not put themselves in danger. “I don’t want anybody getting hurt trying to save a bird. Call your local sheriff’s office. They usually have a number for a local rehabber.” She says you can find rehabbers near you by looking up your area online.

As for Sgt. Flickinger, he’s been serving his community across the beautiful landscape of Montgomery County for nearly two decades. This was not his first bird rescue. “They can’t call us like regular people can,” he said. “When we can help them, that’s something special.”

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