Great Grey Owl Displaying Normal Behavior

Photo by Gloria McDonough

The Great Grey Owl is drawing visitors from all over New England.  Cars and trucks from Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rode Island were packed on Airport and Corbin Roads on Sunday and Monday.  Several people have commented that they thought the owl was sick, since he has no fear of people and stays perched as photographers shoot cameras and crowds gather to view him.

According to Nathan Thoele who works rehabilitating birds of prey at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) in Quechee VT, the bird’s behavior is normal for the species. Thoele who has observed the bird in Newport said the Great Gray Owl has no fear of humans and when he flew on a woman’s head it was like the bird was saying “I don’t care.”  Although he is not a bird biologist, Thoele said he didn’t notice any signs of distress in the bird and sees no reason for health concerns.  He did warn for viewers and photographers not to chase the Great Grey with cameras but to quietly observe the creature.

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