A Red Phase Screech Owl and 15 Mallard ducklings were rescued and released by the Department of Environmental Conservation Police Officers.

On May 3, 2020, Police Officer Jeff Hull of the Department of Environmental Conservation released a Red Morph Screech Owl back into its natural habitat in the town of Verona.


The owl was hit by a car in early March, leaving it with an injured eye and unable to fly. After receiving medical treatment at Cornell Wildlife Clinic, it was handed over to Oneida County wildlife rehabilitator Judith Cusworth for two months of rehabilitation.

The DEC says Red Phase Screech Owls are uncommon, making up only one-third of the screech owl population. They are one of the smallest owls in CNY and become active after sunset and silently hunt their prey at night.

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More ducklings were rescued, this time in Onondaga County. On May 6, Department of Environmental Conservation Police Officer Don Damrath and Geddes Police Officer Mike Sheppard reunited 15 Mallard ducklings with their mother after the ducklings fell into a storm drain at a busy intersection.


DEC says a local business employee and Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection staff retrieved 12 of the ducklings. Still, three ducklings swam deeper into the drainpipe and refused to come out.

ECO Damrath coaxed the three stragglers from the pipe using recorded duckling sounds. ECO Damrath and Officer Sheppard then secured the trio and reunited them with their siblings and mother at a nearby pond.

You may remember employees from the Town of Rotterdam Water and Sewer Department came to the rescue for eight baby ducks stuck in a storm drain at the end of April.

We're glad the DEC, HOOO care, got a QUACK at saving these lucky birds.

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