Living on burrowed time

Wildlife News
Published: September 08, 2009 3:00 PM
Updated: September 08, 2009 3:41 PM

Clutching butterfly nets, pet carrying cases and a pipe with a sponge plunger on the end, Mike Mackintosh and Frank Tolksdorf ease into the 50- by 70-foot enclosure behind Monika’s Wildlife Shelter in Port Kells.

As they step quietly on the sawdust floor making tactical plans to fill their carriers, they are watched by dozens of pairs of wary eyes perched along the corners of the walls and ceiling. A few eye them from the shadows at ground level.

It takes the two men an hour to collect more than three dozen young burrowing owls for testing. Some are caught in the air along their cage walls. Others are herded further into their eight-inch-wide burrows with the soft-tipped plunger and are taken out by hand at the far side.


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