City helps midtown neighborhood protect owls by adding sign saying 'Warning Low Flying Owls'

Posted at 8:12 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 07:25:09-04
Not long after two noticeable birds were truck by cars, one midtown neighborhood finally has some signage they can hoot and holler about happily.

Just a few weeks ago, a bald eagle was hit by a car prompting a concerned neighbor to make sure it didn't happen to another rare bird in their backyard.

"It hadn't occurred to me that it's no different than putting up a 'deer crossing' sign or something like that," neighbor Lisa Griffith said.

However, neighbors say the signs shouldn't be ignored.

"The owlets are just a little over two months old," Barred Owls of Midtown Tulsa Organizer Jennifer Harmon said. "They are just learning to fly long distances, and they can barely make it across the street right now and so we certainly hope it will help people to pay attention and slow down."

The sign says, "Warning Low Flying Owls." There really are owls in this neighborhood. The mother is Sofie and the father is Owlbert.

"We just treat them like neighbors," Harmon said. "I mean it's weird to say that, but we occupy the same space, and so we're just trying to do what we can to look after them."

The nervous owl parents are new and still learning. Because their babies were born just this spring, some are still learning how to fly.

"If something happened to one of them it would bother us," Griffith said. "It would be upsetting."

Neighbors of the owl family are concerned for the safety of the owl family.

"They've been shot at, which is a federal crime," Harmon said. "People have done different things to kind of try to mess with them and they don't really understand that it's against the law to do some of the things people do."

The city responded in exactly one week, even footing the bill for the four signs.

"This is a crucial time in the babies' lives that they need it to be up," Griffith said. 

Now, the baby owls can spread their wings and drivers will know to keep an eye on the sky.

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