It's possible the bird mistook the tresses for some kind of furred food. "I think she probably tried to grab it, thinking it was something to eat," park naturalist Kelli Whitney tells The Broward Palm Beach New Times. "She probably thought she was [grabbing] dinner for her children."
Burrowing owls -- which are protected in Florida -- rely on their parents for food. And with the injured mother owl in a wildlife rehabilitation center, it was up to the biologists and staff to pitch in for the four baby owls. Camouflaging their faces and hands to keep the young owls from associating humans with a supply of food, they brought the baby birds diced rodents and insects.
"I think we all feel like owl foster mommies,'' Whitney says.
After receiving medication and a warm soak for her leg, the burrowing owl was released back to her family.