A sad tale. This Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) was barely alive, prostrate on the trail near the mural just west of Route 85 in Hebron. It was breathing and occasionally flicked its tail, turned its head, or let out a very weak call. I called DEEP's Environmental Control police and they sent out an officer, Anthony. From too frequent experience, he concluded that the bird had been poisoned and was unlikely to survive. He bundled it in a towel and planned to transport it to A Place Called Hope (https://www.aplacecalledhoperaptors.com/) in hopes that it might survive and be rehabilitated. A chance to see an owl up close is normally wonderful, but not under these circumstances.
UPDATE: I heard back from A Place Called Hope: "The owl expired quickly upon admission. I am not suspecting rodenticide.
My gut says HPAI Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. Or West Nile Virus. Or both. I will have the body tested for both via UCONN.
Please check back the end of next week for results. Thanks for finding help for this poor owl.
I was able to make him more comfortable for his passing."
UPDATE 10/28/2022: UConn testing confirmed HPAI Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. Read more about this disease in birds here: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/avian-in-birds.htm Links there to Bird Flu in People, and in Pets or other animals.