Bunnings customer spots 'pretty concerning' detail in roof of city store

Bunnings says staff at the Melbourne store have been keeping a close eye on their new 'feathered friend', but wildlife rescuers say more could be done.

The barn owl perched on a high beam above the Bunnings Tarneit store (left). It is pictured on another ledge (right).
The barn owl has been stuck inside Bunnings Tarneit for several days now. Source: Facebook

Bunnings shoppers have shared their concern for the welfare of a barn owl after it was spotted flapping above their heads in a outer city hardware store. The owl is currently stuck in the Tarneit store in Melbourne's west, with the bird unable to find an exit and staff incapable of capturing it due to the large space it finds itself in.

It's understood the animal is being monitored by staff who are in talks with multiple wildlife organisations to have it safely rescued and relocated. While the location is considered to be an unusual place to find an owl, one rescuer told Yahoo News he has actually removed "dozens" from warehouses during his 38 years in the job.

He is now urging Bunnings to include a specific feature in their stores to help in such dilemmas.

Nigel Williamson believes owls are often chased into warehouses by ravens as the two species "pinch" each others' chicks.

"When the ravens are nesting and they've got eggs and chicks in their nest, the owls like to come along and pinch them," he explained. "When a raven spots an owl in a tree anywhere near its nest, it will then start chasing it and the barn owls go into the warehouse for safety."

Nigel said he has responded to multiple rescue calls involving ravens and owls in warehouses, with some of these birds also being found in Bunnings stores. Despite it not being nesting season, it appears the owls still use warehouses as places of refuge.

A Bunnings sign inside the hardware store.
Bunnings told Yahoo that staff have been keeping a close eye on their 'feathered friend'. Source: Reuters

There are several ways the owl could be rescued and the first is the simplest — it could, of course, find its way outside without any interference. The second involves a rescuer using an elevated platform to reach the bird with a large net, which can often be a tricky process. The last option includes removing a section of the roof to encourage the bird to leave the warehouse.

However, Nigel believes a simple design feature of Bunnings warehouses would help aid the process. "They could implement a design into the roof area which they could open up a section and all these birds could get out quite easily," he said.

Bunnings have confirmed staff are keeping a "close eye" on the building's new occupant while they wait for wildlife groups to rescue it.

"The team in our Tarneit store has been joined by a feathered friend that’s made its way into the store in recent days. They’re engaging with local animal welfare groups to ensure the owl can be safely relocated," a Bunnings spokesperson said.

It is unclear why none of the wildlife groups have visited the Bunnings store yet but it has been confirmed Nigel will attend after Yahoo News got in touch about the situation.

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