LIHUE, Hawaii — A Hawaiian short-eared owl that was struck by a vehicle in late March has died after being hit by another vehicle two months after it was rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
The state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources said two more owls were found dead on Kauai’s roads on the same day.
Andre Raine, of the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, originally found the owl on March 22 and took it to the Save Our Shearwaters rehabilitation center, where it recovered with the help of Hawaii Wildlife Center staff members. They nursed the owl back to health and released it in late April, The Garden Island (http://bit.ly/2vMhTYr ) reported Wednesday.
It was found recently six miles (10 kilometers) from the release location and was in good body condition, which means the bird had been hunting and feeding successfully, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said.
Tracy Anderson, of the Save Our Shearwaters rehabilitation center, examined the dead owl and confirmed its injuries were consistent with being struck by a vehicle.
Owls are often attracted to roadsides by rats and mice, which are attracted by the easy pickings of food scraps and rubbish discarded by people, the land and resources agency said.
In addition to the three Hawaiian owls found dead on Kauai’s roads, another one was discovered on Oahu earlier this year and could not be rehabilitated after it collided with a car.
“The death of the owls serves as a reminder for those who drive on Kauai’s roads to slow down and be aware of owls, nene, fledgling seabirds and other birds that may be feeding or flying alongside or near roads and highways,” Raine said.