Metro

Mechanics find owl under the hood while doing an oil change

An owl was found beneath the hood of a car when mechanics went to do an oil change.
Salem, N.H., Police
An owl was found beneath the hood of a car when mechanics went to do an oil change.

Oil change? More like “Owl” change.

When mechanics at a Pep Boys Auto Parts and Car Repair shop in New Hampshire opened the hood of a car this week to do an oil change, they discovered more than just an engine under there.

According to police in Salem, N.H., the workers were greeted — unexpectedly — by an insolent-looking owl, which somehow managed to squeeze its way into the tight space.

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“Pep Boys Auto repair popped the hood of a car for a routine oil change and shazam! An Eastern Screech Owl!,” police wrote on Facebook Friday afternoon. “[It] was sitting on the engine and the car owner had no idea how he got there. We figured he was either seeking warmth or chasing a mouse.”

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In its post on social media, the department named the owl “Shazam,” probably for the bird of prey’s ability to suddenly appear like some sort of magic trick.

Eastern screech owls are robin-sized night birds. As their name suggests, they are common throughout much of the eastern half of the country and can be found in city parks and shady suburbs, according to Audubon.org.

“Many human residents are unaware they have an owl for a neighbor,” the website says. “Despite the name, screech-owls do not screech; the voice of this species features whinnies and soft trills.”

Police said the bird was “very friendly” — though photos posted to Facebook would suggest otherwise — and was “easily handled” by the department’s animal control officer and Officer Matt MacKenzie.

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Because the owl appeared lethargic, it was transported by officials to “On The Wing,” a wildlife rehabilitation center in Epping, N.H., police said.

People responding to the department’s Facebook post thought the whole situation was a hoot.

“That’s a real case of Hoo-Dunnit,” one person wrote.

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.