Pueo rescued, rehabbed, and released on Kauai

A young female pueo (Hawaiian short-eared owl) was released after more than a month of rehabilitation.

The bird was found struggling alongside a highway on Kauai on March 22 by Dr. Andre Raine from the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project.

Raine took the injured pueo to the Save our Shearwaters facility at the Kauai Humane Society.

Tracy Anderson of SOS said the pueo had injuries to her head, eye, and a fractured left wing. Anderson believes the owl was hit by a car.

Owls are often attracted to roadsides by rats and mice. The rodents are attracted by food scraps and rubbish discarded by people.

Credit: Hawaii DLNR
Credit: Hawaii DLNR

After being treated, the bird was flown to the Hawaii Wildlife Center on Hawaii Island for rehabilitation in their large flight aviary.

The owl was released on private ranch land in west Kauai near where she was found.

Prior to her release, a metal identification band was put on one of its legs.

Pueo are found on all of the main Hawaiian Islands. DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) is currently developing study parameters for an Oahu survey of the owl population.

This pueo’s fate was much more positive than another owl rescued on a North Shore of Oahu earlier this year. A fracture in that bird’s wing couldn’t heal properly, so it was euthanized to prevent continuing suffering.

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