Short-eared owl rescued after getting stuck on boat off Felixstowe

This poor owl became entangled with a wind turbine support vessel off the coast of Suffolk

This poor owl became entangled with a wind turbine support vessel - Credit: Marine Rescue Service

An owl which had to be rescued after becoming trapped on a vessel off the coast of Felixstowe is due to be released back into the wild. 

The short eared owl, which became trapped in a wind farm support vessel, was rescued by the East Anglia based charity Marine and Wildlife Rescue.

They took the creature to Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, where it is currently recovering. 

The creature was stuck to the vessel by a layer of grease which was cleaned off at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary

The creature was stuck to the vessel by a layer of grease, which was cleaned off at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary - Credit: Marine and Wildlife Rescue

Dan Goldsmith, charity chairman for Marine and Wildlife Rescue, said: "If all goes to plan we'll be able to get the owl back to the wild within the week."

"It looks like it's suffered no damage apart from the oil and grease on it's feathers."

Mr Goldsmith continued: "They migrate in, so this is not that unusual. We often get contacted by vessels in the middle of the channel. 

"Birds land on them when they need a rest, or some water.

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"I'm not entirely sure where this particular owl was caught but it probably tried to land on something it shouldn't have, or was blown off course in a gust.

"Sometimes the companies who we work with send out helicopters to rescue a bird out to sea. I've personally seen this happen twice."

However, finding somewhere to release the owl could be difficult: "Short eared owls aren't common here.

"We get loads of tawny and barn owls, but short ears are rare.

"All owls have wonderful markings but the eyes of short eared owls really stand out, they look like marbles.

"For this one we're going to find a spot on the land in a place where other short eared owls congregate. They like living with their own kind."

The animal is now resting up at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, waiting to be released back into the wild. 

The animal is now resting up at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, waiting to be released back into the wild. - Credit: Marine and Wildlife Rescue

Chris, at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary added: "We are going to let it rest for a bit, then assess it again to make sure it can fly. 

"To clean oil and grease off an owl we need to bathe it in a solution which dissolves the stickiness. You have to be really careful, or else it will damage it's plumage."

"We've been in contact with Suffolk Wildlife Trust and they say they have a patch of marshland they think would be suitable for it. 

"It's quite exciting because we haven't had a short eared owl in more than 20 years here."

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