Oak Bay has turned into a regular Hogwarts, with two cases of barred owls inviting themselves into homes over the past week.
Same bird? Possibly.
Last Thursday, Oak Bay police answered a call about an intruder in a home on Beach Drive. Officers arrived at 4 a.m. to find the feathered suspect perched on a couch staring right back at them.
After some coaxing, the intruder casually walked outside through open patio doors and flew away.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
On Sunday, a house on nearby Musgrave Street got a visit from what is thought to be the same barred owl.
Tina Gaboury went to check her friend’s home and found the whole place in disarray — pictures down, things tipped over and droppings everywhere.
“The first thing I thought was we got robbed,” said Gaboury.
But to her surprise, she saw an owl perched on a chandelier, calmly staring her down.
Gaboury called her brother-in-law, Dan Lauchlan, who is “good with animals.” Lauchlan was able to put a towel over the owl and gently carry it outside to a table.
He removed the covering and the owl just stayed, said Gaboury, allowing them both to gently pet and admire the raptor.
“He stayed there for a long time and was really calm,” said Gaboury. “Then he just flew away. It was really amazing because I’ve never seen an owl that close before.”
How the owl got into the house was a bit of a mystery, because the doors and windows were locked.
But based on soot marks on the ceiling and walls, Gaboury believes the owl entered through the chimney and fireplace.
She thinks it’s the same owl that was lounging in the Beach Drive home.
Known to live in both forest and urban areas, barred owls are among the most common owls on the south coast of B.C. An Environment Canada fact sheet says barred owls are not typically shy around humans.