Owl ensnared in California kite string rescued, ‘grumpily flies off’

A great horned owl in California found itself tied up on Monday when the tip of its wing became tangled in a kite string, leaving the bird dangling from a tree.

Authorities launched a rescue effort to free the owl after a resident reported seeing the distressed bird, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

“The poor owl was hanging by her wing, suspended between two trees,” a Peninsula Humane Society spokeswoman told the paper.

Rescuers check the owl for injuries before releasing it back into the wild.

Rescuers check the owl for injuries before releasing it back into the wild. (Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA)

Rescuers climbed the fire crew’s ladder and cut the string to free the owl, while Peninsula Humane Society workers stood below and caught the bird as she fell, SFGate reported. The uninjured owl was released back into the wild at the scene, and seemed to “grumpily fly off,” the spokeswoman said.

The remaining kite string was removed to prevent other birds from becoming ensnared. Without an assist from the rescuers, the owl would have probably died, the spokeswoman said.

The owl appeared to "grumpily fly off" when it was released, according to a Peninsula Humane Society spokeswoman.

The owl appeared to "grumpily fly off" when it was released, according to a Peninsula Humane Society spokeswoman. (Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA)

It isn’t uncommon for owls and other birds to become entangled by items like kite strings, soccer netting or even decorative Halloween cobwebs, the spokeswoman said.

"We just really encourage people to take care and if you have fishing string, or even something seemingly innocuous as kite string, cut it down because it can definitely harm wildlife," she told SFGate.