Barred owl hanging around downtown library courtyard

A strange sight in the courtyard of the Greater Victoria Public Library in downtown Victoria is attracting attention.

An owl sits perched on a slowly spinning metal sculpture watching all that goes on below, and peering into the office spaces above.

Local birding expert Ann Nightingale has had reports of the owl for several weeks, saying it may have been injured striking a window at one point and has now found a good source of food:

"Now it's a barred owl, which is probably our most effective hunting owl in the area. It will eat just about everything, including rats and other rodents, birds, and even fish ... it will take goldfish out of people's ponds."

Nightingale says Barred owls hunt both day and night, and are quite comfortable around people.

She says although the owl seems to be doing fine, she encourages those frequenting the area to keep an eye on it to ensure it can fly properly.  If it's hunkered down, not moving and looking sickly -- a call to Wild ARC to capture and rebailitate the creature would be in order.

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