This article about owlets being rescued from a chimney made it to the national news! It’s in Finnish, but here’s a quick google translation.

Tl,dr: two owlets were stuck in a mansion’s chimney in Tervakoski, Finland. They were rescued after a 24-hour operation and both were in good health, although very hungry.

The rescue operation lasted a day in Janakkala, Kanta-Häme, when two barn owl chicks were trapped in the labyrinthine chimney of the Tervakoski manor.

Locals visiting the old manor were eating dinner on Thursday when a strange creaking sound started coming from a nearby chimney. Someone recognized the voice as an owl.

The rescue service that was alerted for help arrived at the manor, but the means ran out. The complaint about the flue noise continued overnight.

The owls have had to climb more often than usual this spring, because they have suffered from a shortage of nests . In April, the rescue service had to rescue two pairs of owls that got lost in the wrong place within a week in Päijät-Hämee.

Two sooty baby owls roost at the bottom of the chimney.

The next day, the message went to Annulii Koponen, a wild animal manager from Riihimäki. Koponen called for help and got in touch with Piia Raunio, who rings birds.

When Raunio arrived on Friday, the task seemed impossible.

  • The chimney of the old mansion is slightly L-shaped, and it turned out to be extremely deep.

Scars or other aids were of no use, because only a small hole led to the chimney.

  • When we got a better picture with the flashlight, there were indeed two baby owls there, and they both screamed, Raunio says.

Manor owner: the owls must be saved The chirping and screeching of the little owls was heartbreaking, Raunio describes.

It seemed that the only way to get the birds out was to dismantle the chimneys.

The rescuers called Inga Chaudhary, the owner of the Tervakoski mansion. She made a decision: the chimney must be dismantled and the owls saved.

  • It didn’t even occur to me to leave them there. The chimney can be repaired, says Chaudhary.

A handyman arrived and started work. It was quickly revealed that the chimneys of the old manor had two walls that had to be passed through.

Handyman made an owl-like opening in the chimney. Rescuing the exhausted chicks began to look possible.

The helpers glued the butterfly swatter to the telescope arm and lifted both owls to safety. The video shows the moment when one of the owls gets to safety.

  • There is no way they would have gotten out of there on their own. It felt really good when we got both of them out of there, says Piia Raunio.

Back to nature The animals’ torment lasted at least a day. After the ordeal, the birds were in surprisingly good shape, albeit hungry.

  • The wings functioned normally, and there were no bruises, Raunio says.

How did the owls practicing the life of a bird of prey end up in the chimneys of the old mansion?

The chicks weighed about 300 grams. So young chicks don’t fly properly yet.

  • However, the manor’s chimney is relatively high. Only the little owls know how they got there.

One possibility is that there was a nesting place for owls in the chimney, from which the fledglings fell into the chimney.

The little owls were returned to the wild that same evening.

According to Rauni, nets will be installed in the chimneys of the Tervakoski mansion, so that owls or other animals do not get stuck in the mazes of the old building in the future.

  • anon6789
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    8 days ago

    The helpers glued the butterfly swatter to the telescope arm and lifted both owls to safety. The video shows the moment when one of the owls gets to safety.

    Do you have the link to the article/video? I want to see an owlet riding a fly swatter to freedom!

    Edit: Found an article! It’s a butterfly net, not a fly swatter.

    Some good pics in the article here.

    Here’s one of the troublemakers!

    • @Chetzemoka@lemmy.world
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      8 days ago

      That is a grey cotton ball.

      And a butterfly net makes a lot more sense than a fly swatter, which is what I was picturing as well haha

      • anon6789
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        128 days ago

        A net does seem much easier. I was hoping it was a a fly swatter though, as I was picturing an owl getting flipped like a hamburger by a spatula!

        Also, I forgot to mention, but my guess is these are Ural Owls, as seen here:

        • AnanääsOP
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          48 days ago

          I find it odd they didn’t mention the species but Ural Owl is a good guess! They are called “viirupöllö” (striped owl) in Finnish.

          • anon6789
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            38 days ago

            I didn’t think of it while I was translating to search for the article, but I searched the Finnish for “owl” and then the city name (owl and chimney gave too many results and all were old) but I didn’t take note at the time that it looked like the Spanish “pollo,” which means chicken.

            Is “pöllö” used for anything else, or does it only refer to owls? I see some other Finnish owls don’t have pöllö in their name, like Eagle Owl is huuhkaja.

            • AnanääsOP
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              37 days ago

              Huuhkaja is the only owl without “pöllö” in its name. “Pöllö” is sometimes to describe something as “silly” or “stupid”, we could say “are you an owl” to ask if someone is being dumb - which is a bit strange because owls are not considered stupid animals, quite the opposite!

              • anon6789
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                17 days ago

                I tried to look up the origin of that expression and didn’t find anything in English, but I did see the sentence:

                Pöllö kääntää päänsä ylösalaisin!

                That sent me looking at why you guys have so many umlauts, only for me to learn those aren’t umlauts, which you’d call pisteet, and I ended up learning more than I even expected to learn about Finnish vowels!

                These are the strange tangents I love going on!

                • AnanääsOP
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                  27 days ago

                  Haha well it’s an interesting language and definitely not the easiest one to learn, so prepare to spend some time should you dive deeper into it! :D

                  One could say “oletko ihan pöllö?” - “are you a total owl?” meaning “are you stupid?” (silly/dumb, in a softer way), or “ei pöllömpi idea!” “not owlier an idea!” meaning “not a stupid idea!”. Not a commonly used expression though.

        • @Chetzemoka@lemmy.world
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          48 days ago

          I was picturing an owl hanging upside down from claws clinging to a fly swatter, which is actually a hilarious image hahaha

          • AnanääsOP
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            48 days ago

            Haha indeed! The translation was a bit off in some parts but at least it made a good laugh!

            • anon6789
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              48 days ago

              Indeed, as long as it’s not something technical I’m really trying to understand, I somewhat enjoy bad translations.

    • AnanääsOP
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      48 days ago

      Oops, something went wrong with my post and pics and link went missing, good you found them!

  • Props to the manor owner, and to the person who recognized the creaking sounds as baby owls! Of course the rescuers as well but it’s their skillset.

    • AnanääsOP
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      58 days ago

      Indeed! Would be easy to just shrug it off and let nature deal with it but thankfully they didn’t and the little owls have a whole life ahead of them!