Barred owl makes itself at home in Oak Bay residence

An Oak Bay break-in specialist looks happy and healthy after residents found it eating dinner in a tree not far from the nearest crime scene.

One resident returned to a house that had been cleaned up after asking neighbors to keep an eye out for the place. Neighbor Tina Gaboury and her boyfriend got a little more than she bargained for after checking in over the weekend and thinking someone had broken in.

“Everything was messed up, the pictures on the walls, the vases were knocked over, the lights were knocked down,” she told Oak Bay News.

Then she spotted the intruder.

A striped owl stared at her, blinking one eye, explaining that there was excrement everywhere.

The peaceful creature didn’t look at the humans, although at first they wondered if it was missing an eye. They later determined it was just a traffic light. Gabriel called her brother-in-law, a wildlife lover who knew what to do.

All the doors and windows were open to the wild, and the owl still didn’t make a move to back out. So the brother-in-law put on a pair of gloves, tucked a towel lightly over her head, and gently motioned the feathered guest to the rear deck.

It was still sitting there, allowing several pets to eventually fly away, Gaboury said.

A few days earlier, in the early hours of November 10, Oak Bay police found a similar, if not the same, perpetrator on a sofa at a residence on Beach Drive. Police were called to the intruder at about 4 a.m., the department said. After some training, the critter walked out of the open patio door at random and flew away. Police reported no injuries to people or animals.

Concerned that the owl was hungry or unwell, Gaboury was pleased to report that her neighbors spotted it eating rodents on Sunday night.

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