While working at the park service today, I noticed a Tweet from my friend Sara asking if I knew that the Minnesota History Center had an owl stuck inside. She referenced a photo at @MNHS has posted on their Twitter Feed:
An eastern screech-owl (gray phase). The History Center is in downtown St. Paul, only a few blocks away from where my visitor center is located for the National Park Service. The History Center also tweeted that the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center was coming to capture the owl.
By the time I arrived, the small owl had already been captured by the TRC experts. They took it back to the clinic to give it an exam, but I expect the bird will be released quite soon. As I entered the building, I could hear people on the roof doing repairs. A few quick questions at the box office confirmed my suspicion: the owl mostly likely entered the fourth floor via the roof repair area sometime in the night.
As I left, I noticed a stand of pines and thought, "Wow, that would be a nice place for an urban screech owl to roost. I wonder if I can find any owl sign?
Yep, I found a spot with poop consistent with with small owl fecal material. I can't say for certain that this is THE screech-owl that was captured, but most likely it is.
Glad the story had a quick ending and TRC was able to get the owl out of the gigantic History Center. Here's a video from the St. Paul Pioneer Press about the wayward owl: