Injured owl rescued from quarry in Clarendon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 June 2023 at 11:21 am

Photos courtesy of Melissa Ierlan

CLARENDON – Vern Fonda, an environmental conservation police officer, holds a Great Horned Owl that was injured on Friday. The owl was in a quarry in Clarendon owned by Heidelberg Materials, Aggregates and Concrete (the former Hanson Aggregates site).

Quarry workers called the Department of Environmental Conservation to report there was an injured owl in quarry.

The owl was skittish of Fonda and quarry workers and was hiding in a crevice of the quarry. Fonda tossed a T-shirt at the owl, and the bird then clutched that shirt with its talons. Fonda picked the owl up using leather gloves. He put the bird in a cardboard box with ventilation.

The owl was docile once in the dark cardboard box. The Great Horned Owls are nocturnal. This owl was probably disoriented from being out in the bright sunshine, Fonda said.

He then took the owl to Robert Humbert, a wildlife rehabilitator in Wolcottsville.

Fonda speculated the owl was hunting for mice and likely flew into a stone wall, injuring a wing. Or it may have hit its head and was concussed.

Fonda met the quarry workers from the South Holley Road entrance to the quarry. Fonda said he expects the owl will be released by the wildlife rehabilitator after regaining strength. The rehabilitator has enclosures and will feed the owl while it recovers, Fonda said.