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Kevin Bonham, Forum News Service, Published April 21 2013

Owl's well that ends well

GRAND FORKS - About 150 people of all ages stopped by Lincoln Park Sunday afternoon to welcome home the great horned owl that was found hanging from a kite string in the park nearly seven weeks ago.

But before they had a chance to see the female owl, many of them got a close-up look at a sharp-shinned hawk that local raptor expert Tim Driscoll brought to the park.

“Don’t try this at home,” he told children as they had an opportunity, one by one, to touch the brownish-feathered hawk that was found Saturday with an injured leg.

Once the owl arrived from the University of Minnesota Raptor Center, where it has been recovering from wing injuries but no broken bones, it patiently posed for pictures — from the end of Driscoll’s arm — its head as if on a swivel, its huge, round golden eyes stopping to smile at the cameras pointed from all directions.

That lasted for about 15 minutes before the owl apparently became a bit restless, perhaps anxious to return to its wooded neighborhood.

As Driscoll was letting the owl go, it lurched toward him, taking a small bite out of his neck.

Then it flew eastward some 40 or 50 yards, where it perched in a tree just about 25 yards from the tree from which it had been rescued in early March.

And the sharp-shinned hawk was sent to the Raptor Center, where it, too, will recover from its injury.