|Snowy Owl; second documented record for Louisiana. This emaciated individual was rescued from a net on a shrimp boat Wednesday, November 22, 2000, from a marina
on Paris Rd., at Bayou Bienvenue on the St. Bernard/Orleans Parish line, near
Chalmette. (I don't know exactly which parish it was in at this point.)
It had been noticed in the vicinity for at least one day previously, according to
witnesses, and was brought to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. The bird had
sustained a serious humeral fracture in its right wing. Examination of the wound
revealed it was 1-2 weeks old, and had become seriously infected. The bird's
emaciated condition was presumably due to this injury.
Someone other than me will have to age and sex this bird, but my comparison with field guide images causes me to guess that it is an adult female. If that is so it is somewhat surprising, since most individuals involved in southerly eruptions are immatures, supposedly. But I have absolutely no experience or expertise.
Digital images were taken with a Sony Mavica MVC-FD88 on November 28, 2000 by David Muth. The bird is pictured in the hands of licensed rehabilitator Sally Farrell, who has been caring for the bird at her home in New Orleans. (The injury is so severe that the wing cannot be repaired, and will have to be amputated. As of last night, Sally was awaiting word from USFWS about whether or not they would approve the bird's use as an educational exhibit, or whether they would require its euthanasia, normally mandated by federal regulations when injuries are this severe.) -- David Muth - 29 November 2000.