Colorado Deputies May Love Baby Owls, But The Saw-Whet Owl Is Quite Fond Of People, Too [Video]

The Internet has met and fallen in love with a little baby owl. A video of its brief interaction with a Colorado sheriff's deputy has gone viral since being posted on social media Friday and inspired its own hashtag.

#DeputiesLoveBabyOwls has been trending ever since Boulder Colorado's Sheriff's Office posted the video of the Northern Saw-whet Owl in the middle of a dirt road near a campground, CBS Local reported.

Deputy Sophie Berman and her partner came across the baby in the road during a patrol in the mountainous area west of Boulder, Colorado. The officer won't reveal the exact location in order to protect the owl's nest, Reuters added.

Apparently smitten, Berman got out of her patrol car to greet the baby owl -- getting a viral photo taken in the meantime. It just stares at the camera, curious but not at all concerned that it's right in the middle of the road.

baby owl

"Hi, what's up?" Sophie said in greeting, according to The New York Daily News. She proceeded to coo, cause that's what one does with babies, and it clicks back in response.

"After some curious head twisting (on both sides) it safely flew away," the officer wrote.

The interaction only lasted a few minutes, the Associated Press added.

The baby was quickly identified as a Northern Saw-whet Owl, which doesn't just make a home in Colorado, but ranges across North America, according to the Owl Institute. The precious birds are actually quite common.

Their call usually resembles a whistle and is heard mostly at night in the winter or spring. And like most owls, its presence in an area can be determined by some yucky evidence -- its "whitewash" poo and puked up pellets of fur, feathers, and bones.

And apparently, the owl is quite friendly, making the encounter with the sheriff's deputy pretty typical. The Institute said, "Saw-whet Owls are unique in allowing humans to come quite close before flying away."

Of course, at a time when the reputation of law enforcement is suffering under the weight of accusations of police brutality nationwide, the viral photo shows the softer side of the police. But on Twitter, #DeputiesLoveBabyOwls gave some the opportunity to crack a few timely jokes on the matter.

[Photo Courtesy Facebook]