Tangled-owl

This Western screech owl didn’t think it was so funny when it got tangled in fake cobwebs. Photo by Dave Stapp, Marin Humane Society.

Halloween and Christmas decorations can harm birds and wildlife. That’s not fun.

by Tai Moses

Oct. 25, 2015—One recent Halloween, a Marin family opened their door to a particularly raucous trick-or-treater only to find a live Western screech owl hanging upside-down from their Halloween decorations. The small native owl was entangled in the sticky strands of fake cobweb that festooned the tree near their porch. When the owl tried to fly away, the stretchy stuff stuck to his talons and wings, and in his panic, he’d become hopelessly ensnared.

The little owl was lucky: an officer from the Humane Society was able to free him by carefully snipping away the cottony fibers. After a checkup at Wildcare, the local wildlife rescue group, he was released back into the neighborhood. The family took down their fake cobwebs and vowed never again to use the product. They still love to decorate the exterior of their home for the holidays, but now they make their own decorations out of paper and other materials that pose no danger to their wild neighbors.

[Click here to read the entire article at Hilltromper: the nature-worshiping, fun-loving adventurer’s guide to Santa Cruz]

Tai Moses is the author of Zooburbia: Meditations On The Wild Animals Among Us (Parallax Press, 2014). She lives in Santa Cruz.

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