HARTFORD — An injured barred owl was euthanized Wednesday after it was found in the roadway at Bear Pond and Route 219, according to the Maine Warden Service.

The owl created a traffic snarl between the intersections of Perry and Harlow Hill roads Wednesday morning.

Timmy Spencer of Hartford said he was on his way to work after 7 a.m. when he passed the bird, which was sitting in the center of the eastbound lane. He said he didn’t realize what it was until he passed it. “I thought, ‘I have to go back,’” he said.

Spencer parked his vehicle beside the bird on the roadside to alert other drivers until a game warden could respond. The stretch of road is near a corner on a hill where morning sun could have impaired drivers’ ability to see the bird.

Josh Smith of the Maine Warden Service responded to the call and discovered the owl was injured, pointing out swelling on its eyes and beak. 

When Smith gently picked up the owl around its wings, it fidgeted slightly and turned to look at Smith.

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The owl was taken to Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center in Freedom, where injured and orphaned birds receive medical attention and rehabilitation in environments similar to their natural habitats.

An Avian Haven official said later Wednesday that the owl had to be put down because of severe bone breaks at one of its elbows, damage that could not be repaired.

According to the Avian Haven website, barred owls are the center’s “most commonly admitted raptor species; almost all of them have been hit by cars, presumably in the process of hunting mice attracted to litter along roadsides.”

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