A barn owl believed to be dead when it was found in a Northamptonshire field on New Year’s Day has been nursed back to health.
The female owl was found in a field near Woodend about five kilometre from Sulgrave by a dog walker.
The owl, which was unable to fly and showing no signs of life, was taken into the care of Paddy Jackson, who runs the Northamptonshire Barn Owl project, based in Stoke Bruerne.
Mr Jackson said, after examining the bird, he found some signs of life and he then agreed to pass her over to someone who could provide rehabilitation.
The next morning, Mr Jackson received a call to tell him that the barn owl was now flying and had coughed up a pellet.
Mr Jackson then decided to release the owl back into the area where she was found.
Mr Jackson said: “When I saw her I fully expected her to be dead but she has confounded everything we know about barn owls. Perhaps she may have been in shock after being hit by a car.”
Mr Jackson said the owl was ringed as a chick in June 2014 as part of a project to aid the recovery of the species in the county.
The owl was released back into the wild in the area near to where she was found.
Mr Jackson said: “I removed her carefully and laid her gently on her back in my lap as we always do.
“Suddenly, as if a switch was flicked, she stretched her wings, flew out of the barn swerving adeptly around two bushes, three more flaps and glided gracefully up and into the old hovel opposite as if she had been doing it all her life and probably had been even in the dark.
“She was clearly home.”