Great Horned Owlet #17-1135

Admission Date: 
May 27, 2017
Location of Rescue: 
Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Fell from nest
Prognosis: 
Good
Patient Status: 
Current Patient

On May 27, the Wildlife Center admitted another baby Great Horned Owl. This young owl was found down on the ground on Chincoteague Island; the bird was taken to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator for treatment before it was transferred to the Wildlife Center.

The veterinary team performed a physical examination upon admission and found a closed, calloused fracture of the owl's gnathotheca, or lower beak. It's likely that the bird fractured its beak when it fell from the nest; fortunately, it was already healing and no further treatment was needed. During the next few days, the team monitored the owl's beak closely, to make sure it was still well-aligned. The owl was eating well, and no problems were noted.

The bird was moved in a crate to one of the Center's flight pens, where it could slowly acclimate to Papa G'Ho, the Center's Great Horned Owl surrogate, along with two other baby Great Horned Owls. New owlets are typically slowly introduced to the family before they leave the crate and have direct access to Papa and the other owlets.

The newest owlet will spend time with its new family in the coming months; young owlets are typically released in the fall, at the time of year when they'd naturally be dispersing from their parents. The owlets will have plenty of practice catching live food in the coming months, in preparation for when they are on their own later this year.

This young owl will require months of care -- including a lot of food! Your special donation will help support the care of this owlet -- and his new family!

Updates

June 22, 2017

Great Horned Owlets #17-0363, #17-0885, and #17-1135 are doing well; they are flying and eating consistently on their own.

As of June 21, Papa G'Ho and his three owlets are housed together in one of the outdoor flight pens. When an appropriate, larger enclosure becomes available (likely one of the "A-pens"), the rehabilitation staff will move the four birds; the larger space will give the growing family more room and space for the young birds to practice flying.

The family will remain together until the owlets are eventually separated for individual live-prey testing in preparation for a fall release.