News & Politics

Downtown DC’s Snowy Owl Struck by Bus

Metro cannot confirm if the bus was one of its own.

The snowy owl also enjoyed this parking garage. Photograph by Flickr user rho-bin.

A snowy owl that appeared in downtown DC last week wound up at the National Zoo Thursday morning after it was struck by a bus near the corner of 15th and I streets, Northwest. Metro, for its part, cannot confirm if the bus was one if its own, but the bird is recovering.

The Metropolitan Police Department found the wounded female owl and reported it to the National Zoological Police before taking it to the zoo. Upon arrival, the owl was alert and showed no outward injuries, but veterinarians found blood in its mouth and treated it with pain medication and fluids. The zoo then turned the owl over to City Wildlife, an animal rehabilitation facility where it will undergo X-rays and further treatment.

Snowy owls are native to the Arctic tundra, but come south in the winter. This winter has seen one of the farthest snowy owl migrations, according to the Audubon Society, with specimens sighted as far south as North Carolina and Bermuda.

The owl showed up last Friday near McPherson Square, but made its most visible perch at the headquarters of the Washington Post, prompting dozens of Posties to drop whatever stories they were working on to get on the owl beat.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.