So we know, Army, Marine Corps or Air Force wouldn't have done this for a bird:
U.S. Navy photo
Here's the photo caption the Navy released with this picture:
080318-N-1688B-002 PERSIAN GULF (March 18, 2008) Airman Jacob Larsen holds "Fod," a screech owl that was found on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The owl was discovered in the left-main wheel well of an F/A 18 Hornet during a pre-flight inspection of the aircraft. Truman and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 are deployed supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and maritime security operations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Bookwalter (Released)
Good thing for the pilot, the F-18 and the owl that the bird was discovered before take-off.
We don't expect the Navy to be bird identification specialists - so we'll point out that folks who have seen this picture say it is probably some species of Scops Owl, not a screech owl.