North Idaho

Canary dead, owl on the wing after high-rise homicide

Canary dead, owl on the wing after high-rise homicide

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - You've heard of burglars sneaking in through unlocked doors, but a winged intruder was much bolder, flying through a 10-story window in Coeur d'Alene.

Don and Sue Sausser have lost a member of their family, a canary they've had for five years, while the other one has been scared silent after an owl flew into their home.

"Male canaries sing, and he hasn't sung since yesterday," Don Sausser said.

Don and Sue Sausser woke up to a trail of yellow feathers first thing in the morning.

"The killed bird was sitting by the water down there. He didn't really consume it much, just killed it," he said.

After investigating what happened, they heard a thump behind a cabinet.

"I looked over there and there was the owl actually there, and he flew right past me and out the door," Sue Sausser said.

The couple says the bird was only about 7 inches tall and think it's a saw-whet owl. Don Sausser was able to snap some pictures of the culprit as it sat on their balcony before it took off. He thinks that's where it entered the house also but is unsure when it happened and how long the bird was inside their home.

"We leave that door open at night. We don't have a screen, so the slider was open," he said.

The owl was able to fly into the apartment and enter the canary cage, killing one of them while the second one suffered a bit on one of his wings.

"Yesterday he was pretty cautious, now he's pretty good, although I haven't heard him sing yet today," Sue Sausser said.

The couple may get another canary, but right now they want to see how their surviving bird does on his own.