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To “Catch an Owl”

June 10, 2018
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

The headline of this story is not of a book, but rather: What do you do if an owl shows up at your front doorstep?

For starters, on Tuesday morning, May 29, the mail delivery person was startled when she opened Judy Womack's mailbox and the owl, perched just a couple of feet away, turned it's head to look at her.

Judy, 405 East Ross Street in Toledo, then became aware of the owl on her porch. With little knowledge of how long the owl planned to "visit," she decided the best course of action was to call the Tama County Sheriff's Office.

Article Photos

The owl on Judy Womack's front porch on Tuesday morning, May 29, 2018.
Chronicle photos/John Speer

In turn, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources was notified.

At about 11 a.m. Denice Zink and Keith Sherman, Union Grove Lake staff members from Gladbrook arrived. Not knowing exactly what the call was about they had a short consultation with Judy.

Keith then approached the owl and used a sheet to wrap around it. Denice, with a large cardboard box, provided a way to transport it.

The owl, with what Keith said was little resistance, was captured, put in the box and was to be transported to a bird sanctuary near Cedar Falls.

Judy said she has observed some owls with basically white feathers living in a tree nearby but had never seen this one.



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