Great Horned Owl Entangled: How You Can Help Wildlife at Lake Quannapowitt

1/11/2024

You may have heard about the Great Horned Owl at Lake Quannapowitt earlier this month. Here’s more info on how to enjoy “Owl Season” at Lake Q and how to keep wildlife safe.

“January is owl season in Massachusetts,” according to Mass Audubon in a recent WBUR interview, with many of the birds courting and nesting this time of year. And that’s proven true in Wakefield. On January 1st, a Great Horned Owl was entangled in fishing line at Lake Quannapowitt. Thankfully, the owl was spotted and Cape Ann Wildlife (a volunteer wildlife rehabilitation group) was called. They worked with Wakefield Fire Department to safely remove the owl from its entrapment, and the bird is being rehabilitated.

Lake Quannapowitt hosts a wide variety of wildlife including owls, bald eagles, and many other birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Part of Friends of Lake Quannapowitt’s mission is to protect the Lake, and that means encouraging safe practices for humans and wildlife alike. Fishing lines and hooks are an especially dangerous item because of how they can entangle, snare, choke, or otherwise injure wildlife. They also pose risks to people visiting the Lake.

So, how can you enjoy the Lake in a safe way?

🚮 Discard all your trash in the many available trash cans around the lake, or bring it home with you for disposal.

🎣 Retrieve any stuck fishing lines, lures, and hooks to throw them away in trash cans. Never (never never never) leave lines, lures, or hooks behind.

📞 If you see a wild animal in distress at the Lake, don’t approach it. If it’s an emergency, the Town’s website directs people to call the Wakefield Police Department at 781-245-1212. Otherwise, call the town Animal Control Officer at 781-231-0474.

🦉 You can also find a local Wildlife Rehabilitator (like Cape Ann Wildlife Rehab) using this map provided by the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Rehabilitators are usually volunteers and specialize in different types of animals, so look at surrounding towns on the map for a variety of rehab specialists.

📸 Photos Courtesy of Carin Macnamara / Advanced Imaging ©2024, and Cape Ann Wildlife

Owl snared in fishing line. Photo courtesy of Carin Macnamara / Advanced Imaging ©2024 Owl snared in fishing line. Photo courtesy of Carin Macnamara / Advanced Imaging ©2024

Owl snared in fishing line. Photo courtesy of Carin Macnamara / Advanced Imaging ©2024 Owl snared in fishing line. Photo courtesy of Cape Ann Wildlife, Inc.

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