Monday 24 April 2017

Off-course owl finds off-shore sanctuary - on oil rig

The owl crash-landed on a North Sea platform last Wednesday and was looked after by crew members who found it (PA/Scottish SPCA)
The owl crash-landed on a North Sea platform last Wednesday and was looked after by crew members who found it (PA/Scottish SPCA)

An exhausted owl has been given a lift in a helicopter after flying more than 100 miles to an off-shore oil rig.

The bird crash-landed on a North Sea platform last Wednesday and was looked after by crew members who found it.

The short-eared owl was then flown back to land with departing workers and taken to the Scottish SPCA wildlife rescue centre in Fishcross, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, where he will be cared for until he is fit to return to the skies.

Centre manager Colin Seddon said: "The owl is doing great after his lengthy flight.

"He is waiting for a vet check before going out to our aviary and, providing all is well, he will be released within the next few weeks depending on weather conditions."

It is not the first time a disorientated bird has landed on an oil platform and the SSPCA thanked the crew for looking after the owl.

SSPCA chief inspector John Carle said: "It was fantastic that the owl was able to ride in the helicopter with the crew and we would like to thank everyone for their assistance.

"This is not the first time this has happened. There have been previous instances where birds have landed on oil rigs and been brought over to the mainland.

"In June, a lost racing pigeon was rescued after crash-landing 160 miles offshore.

"It's great that there are people looking out for these birds."

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