This strange and savage American winter has produced many oddities, and the appearance of Snowy Owls from the Arctic Circle has been the only delight in a season of ice and gloom. And then a Washington DC bus struck a beloved white owl a block away from the White House Rose Garden.

The owl had been roosting on a building near McPherson Square, a rectangle of urban park space where the city's many rodents can be easily spotted by raptors. Birds of prey, unfortunately, do not pay enough attention to the street traffic when swooping down to catch a young rat. And that is how a DC bus struck the beloved owl this morning.

Because the people of Washington cannot take much more, the owl survived its collision with the city bus. Noting that the owl was white, police rushed the injured patient to the National Zoo for treatment.

According to the Washington Post, the snowy owl had blood in its mouth and was treated for its head injury: medicine for the pain and fluids injected beneath the owl's skin to prevent dehydration during its recovery.

With tragedy prevented, the owl has already been transferred to City Wildlife and its animal rehabilitation center, which will return the female owl to the wild as quickly as possible.

The raptor had been repeatedly seen and photographed outside the Washington Post newsroom, just north of the park. Let this be a lesson to those seeking coverage in the Post.

[Photos via the Smithsonian National Zoo and the Associated Press.]