Along with the northeast's weird winter weather has come an influx of snowy owls – and that's not always a good thing. One of the owls was hit by a Washington, D.C. bus earlier this week. Luckily for both the bird and our hearts, it's now on the road to recovery.
Starting in December, snowy owls began to invade the northeast United States. They usually stay farther north, but it's not the pleasant weather that's bringing them down. The birds usually migrate to southern Canada in the wintertime in pursuit of prey. But during times of owl population booms, when edible rodents are hard to find, they may just keep going all the way to Washington.
This particular bird, which for a time made its roost near the Washington Post building, was popular among pedestrians who took pictures of the superb owl. But fortune was fleeting: earlier this week, the owl was accidentally hit by a bus. The Washington Post reports:
The officers said they were on patrol at 14th and K streets NW about 12:30 a.m. when Blagrove spotted something unusual. Blagrove, a rookie, told Griffin, who was helping to break him in, that he had spotted the bird in the roadway on 14th.
Griffin said she at first thought it was a bag, but its movement convinced her that it was, in fact, the owl.
Conscious but confused, intrepid police captured her with only a blanket and a cardboard box in order to take her to the National Zoo for treatment. After she was treated for a broken toe and possible internal and head injuries, the owl was taken to a rehabilitation center for treatment. She's not out of the woods yet: she's anemic, which will slow down the healing process. Still, veterinarians expect her to make a full recovery and eventually be released back into the wild.