CHOCOLAY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – Jerry Maynard with the Chocolay Raptor Center had an unexpected guest for Thanksgiving.
A couple rescued a snowy owl on a trail near Munising, unable to fly and being chased by a coyote.
“I did a very brief exam. He’s emaciated and he’s weak,” said Maynard, the president/co-founder of the center. “My expectation is that. the assumption is that he’s a young hatch-year bird. So he’s only seven or eight months old and probably a male for his size. He hasn’t started eating on his own so I have to hand feed him a couple of times a day. So my hope is he’s eating on his own by the end of the day.”
There have been three other reports of snowy owls in the U.P. this past week.
Two snowy owls have been recently admitted into the U.P. Wildlife Rehabilitation – Keweenaw Group. One found in Baraga County was unable to fly. A second owl was found in Houghton after trying to fly over the canal and landed in the water. Both birds did not survive.
“These young males, first-year males when they start coming down migrating south, they have a long way to go from the Arctic and then they have to cross the Borealis Forest and they’re not forest birds so that would be tough hunting in the forest of Canada. And then they have to cross Lake Superior and of course, that’s a big challenge too. So by the time they hit the U.P. shores, they’re just exhausted.”
Maynard said the snowy owl is doing good and hopes to release him in the future.