Reunited And It Feels So Good!

A great horned owl nestling was brought into Lindsay’s hospital on March 25 after it was found on the grounds of a local golf course.

Staff determined that the owl was too young to be out of the nest and during their exam found that the bird had been fed a poisoned rat or mouse by its parents. It was started on a 28-day treatment of special medicine for victims of secondary rodenticide poisoning.

The owlet was in critical condition for several days but the hospital staff were able to stabilize it. After a few weeks, one of our volunteer owl specialists searched the parking lot and found both the mother and a sibling in the nest. The next week another volunteer found that the sibling had left the nest and was hiding in nearby bushes.

After 28 days in care, the owlet was determined ready to go back to its family. It was beginning to fly and needed it parents to teach it hunting skills and to care for it until the fall. With the help of a concerned neighbor, the parents were located. The youngster was released on April 19 in their backyard and took off flying towards where its parents were calling. A very happy ending to a tragic story.

Secondary poisoning from rodenticide is all to common. There are alternatives to poison to help with rodent control. The newest generation of poison has no antidote. Hawks, owls, eagles, foxes, bobcats and many other species can die from eating poisoned rodents as well as cats and dogs.