Suburban Wildlife Rescue - What's the 411?
FYI - the Dulles South Public Safety Center phone number is 571-258-3200...Updated below! Interesting Sunday morning wildlife interaction here in South Riding - a very large horned owl was spotted yesterday by our kids fighting with a large golden-flecked hawk, and this morning was laying very alert and still on the ground at the edge of the forest and our street. A veritable crowd of children gathered to watch the owl, who observed us without seeming concern - but didn't move except to rotate its head and hiss once in a while. The hawk and a contingent of mockingbirds and cardinals intent on joining the party (mostly to harrass the hawk) very loudly continued to swoop and harrass the owl - and eventually retreated from the small throng of 3rd-graders and attendant amateur wildlife observers.
What to do? Call the Loudoun Animal Control Office?
Well, we did - and upon understanding that this was wildlife, they redirected me to the Wildlife Rescue League. Their message, if it wasn't about a deer, essentially directed me to collect the animal and deliver to a local wildlife rescue volunteer or facility...which wasn't something I'm actually trained to do right now. So I tried 411 to get the Dulles South Public Safety Center - they were unable to locate that phone number, even after I explained it was a large police and fire station in South Riding. I was eventually transferred to a Virginia-wide directory, who ended up transferring me to the Metropolitan Washington Transit Agency - the Metro folks.
I wasn't aware the Silver Line had reached Loudoun yet - but, luckily, we've posted the Dulles South Public Safety Center phone number on the front page of Dulles South Online - so I called there - only to have the phone ring about 20 times with no answer.
So, the owl sits bemused by the side of the road, the hawk and attendant pawns await further developments, and the children continue to gawk and hopefully don't get too close. This situation will likely resolve itself overnight, with the loss of a really beautiful owl...but that's our Suburban Wildlife Rescue process in action, evidently.
Thanks to the great response from the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center out of Millwod, VA (540-837-9000) for their help this afternoon in retrieving the Great-Horned Owl for care and rehabilitation...They rescue 1500 native wild birds, mammals and reptiles each year - evidently this was the second owl of the day. Pics below of the rescue...once better, our owl may be released back here in South Riding! (Keep your cats inside).