The Morro Coast Audubon Society’s Sweet Springs Nature Preserve lost one of the breeding Great Horned Owls last week.

“It was discovered bleeding and died the following day,” said Judy Neuhauser, president of the Morro Coast Audubon Society, “The amount of blood around the small wound was unusual for the size of the wound, indicating that the blood was not coagulating correctly. A likely cause is the ingestion of rodents poisoned with an anticoagulant rodenticide.”

A week later, one of the owlets was found in poor shape on the ground. It was taken to Pacific Wildlife Care.

“The vet suspects anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning and has begun treatment with Vitamin K,” Neuhauser said, “This may save the life of this little owlet.”

The Morro Coast Audubon Society warns that rat poison kills more than rodents. Any animal — owl, hawk, eagle, cat, dog, or fox— that eats one of these poisoned rodents is poisoned. That is how the owl at Sweet Springs most likely died, and it brought poisoned rodents back to its young.