Great horned owl

Great horned owl
Great horned owl
Several weeks ago, an adult great horned owl was found on the ground being attacked by crows. Fortunately, it was brought to us at the hospital for treatment. During the initial exam, we found the owl had several large wounds on its right wing, especially along the patagium, which is a special membrane essential for flight. The owl was also dangerously thin.

We cleaned and sutured the wounds, but an infection had already set in. We put the owl on several medications for pain and to help control the infection. Hospital staff also began a hand-feeding schedule and very slowly the owl started to gain weight. There were several set-backs at the beginning, but after about two weeks, the owl started eating reliably on its own.

Great horned owl in the aviary
Great horned owl in the aviary
It has been three weeks now since the owl first came to us. Since then, the owl has gained almost 500 grams and the infection in its wing has healed! The owl holds its injured wing lower than its healthy wing and is still too weak from its ordeal for us to determine its ability to fly. We hope to move the owl into an aviary in the coming days so it can continue to build its strength.

The owl has come a long way since it first came to us, but still has a long road ahead to what we hope will be a full recovery and release back into the wild.

UPDATE 3/11/11!
This owl was released last night. Thanks to the great care of the hospital staff and volunteers!

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