Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

DECATUR, Ga. — For a fourth straight day, most of the library at Agnes Scott College is closed to students because of an owl that’s taken up residence in the rafters.

Day after day, falconers have been on campus with tools and traps, trying to capture the owl.

Students, meanwhile, tell 11Alive that what was originally a ”hoot” is not so much fun anymore.

“My soul felt like it just lifted out of my body cause I’ve never been that close to a bird,” said Agnes Scott junior, Natalie Slaughter. 

She said she was studying at the library Monday, when a barred owl flew down the chimney, somehow avoided getting burned by the active fire, whooshed out the fireplace and perched next to her.

“I turned around and this owl is looking at me and I’m looking at the owl and the owl is looking at my friend and I like, freak out,” said Slaughter.

The school immediately closed most of the library.

At first students had fun with it.

“So we’re calling it ‘owlgate’ and thought it was really funny,” said Slaughter.

Students created memes, hundreds even voted on a name – Edgar Owlen Poe was the winner.

Then the shine wore off – quite literally, as the owl did what owls do (all over the tables and carpet) and the students grew tired of being locked out of the library.

For days, experts have tried to use poles, lifts – even a baited spring loaded cage with a pigeon and gerbil inside – to get the owl out.

But still Edgar remains.

“It takes a little while because the owl is not hungry. They’re hunters and they’ve got lots of food in them right now,” said Master Falconer Stewart Farron of Action Critter Removal.

“We try everything we can try to pull a MacGyver out of our hat and get her done,” said Farron.

Slaughter and other students are hoping continued efforts Thursday night finally work.

“People love the owl – glad we named it, but we are ready for it to go back home to the wilderness,” said Slaughter.

Farron said the owl is likely a female who flew down the fireplace to nest. Once it’s captured, it will be released right outside the library on campus.