BY JACKIE KEOGH
TWO rare barn owls died in the last seven days, despite heroic attempts to save their lives.
Skibbereen vet, Jerry McCarthy, sought advice from Michael and June Fox – who previously ran the Barn Owl Project in Drinagh – when he was presented with a male barn owl that had a broken wing last Wednesday. The vet had intended handing the owl over to Michael and June to recuperate. However, it died shortly after its operation.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Skibbereen butcher, Tom Walsh, found another male barn owl near Myross and Ger O’Sullivan of The Wild Atlantic Diner in Leap offered his assistance. Ger O’Sullivan brought the barn owl to Michael Fox, but on Tuesday Michael reported that the owl – which had been injured, possibly as a result of being struck by a car – had died. Michael told The Southern Star: ‘Barn owls are very rare and it’s sad to see two males die in the space of a week. Their females will now have young and will struggle to feed them by themselves.’
Birdwatch Ireland members Michael and June used to run the Barn Owl Project – which created a wildlife corridor to facilitate breeding among these rare birds – but they gave it up because they are now in their 70s and ‘can’t be climbing up ladders anymore.’