Barn Owl #19-3223

November 17, 2019
February 28, 2020
Rescue Location
Rockingham County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Suspect hit by vehicle
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On November 17, a rescuer found a young Barn Own by the side of the road in Rockingham County. Suspecting that the owl was hit by a vehicle, the rescuer was able to contain the owl and transported it to the Wildlife Center for treatment.

The female owl, admitted as patient #19-3223, did not appear to have any obvious impact injuries, but the veterinary team found that the bird was very thin, dehydrated, and weak. Several days later, another fledgling Barn Owl was found in the same area – likely a sibling to Barn Owl #19-3223. Unfortunately, the second owl admitted was even more emaciated and did not survive.

The staff gave fluids to Barn Owl #19-3223 and set her up in a crate in the Center’s holding room for careful observation. Food was slowly introduced, and the owl began readily eating on her own. Several days later, she was much brighter and more alert, and was moved to an outdoor holding area for additional observation. On November 26, the owl was moved to a C-pen.

As long as the owl keeps eating and gaining weight, the staff hope she’ll make a full recovery and will be able to be released this winter.

You can help support our work with native wildlife.

Your donation will help provide care to this young Barn Owl and approximately 4,000 other patients that the Wildlife Center will help this year.


Patient Updates

On February 28, the rehabilitation staff noted that Barn Owl #19-3223 had continued to improve in strength and stamina while being exercised in one of the Center’s outdoor flight pens. With average temperatures rising throughout the region, the veterinary staff determined that this young owl was prepared for life in the wild. After pre-release blood work was completed, Front Desk Coordinators Caroline and Génesis transported the bird to Rockingham County on March 2 near its original site of rescue; the owl appeared a bit hesitant to leave the open crate at first, but eventually took off and quickly flew toward a nearby tree line.

Barn Owl #19-3223 was moved to one of the Center’s Flight Pens, and began exercising on December 21. The bird is flying well – it maintains great height, has adequate stamina, is able to perch well, and has silent flight. The plan is to wait to release the bird until warmer weather arrives, when there are more food resources available in the wild.

Barn Owl #19-3223 has been doing well and eating consistently in a small outdoor enclosure. The bird has been gaining weight and its body condition is improving; once the Barn Owl gains a little more weight, the staff will consider moving the bird to a flight pen.