Great Horned Owlet #20-0437

April 10, 2020
September 27, 2020
Rescue Location
Caroline County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Fell from nest
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On April 9, a young Great Horned Owlet was found in a homeowner’s driveway in Caroline County, Virginia. The homeowners took the owlet to a local veterinary clinic before the young bird was transferred to the Wildlife Center. In the days following its admission, Center staff worked with the homeowners to determine if adult Great Horned Owls were present and active in the area; it’s always best to re-nest young raptors when possible since being raised in the wild by wild parents is always the best option. Dr. Karra’s significant other, Patrick, traveled to Caroline County with the owlet in hopes of renesting; unfortunately, Patrick couldn’t positively determine that there were active Great Horned Owls in the area.

The owlet was generally healthy at admission, and the rehabilitation staff reported that it was an excellent eater. The bird was gradually introduced to surrogate Papa G’Ho and fellow owlet #20-0154; the bird spent time in a crate in the presence of the other owlet. On April 21, owlet #20-0437 was moved to Flight Pen 3 with its new family.

Your donation will help provide long-term care to this young owl … until it is old enough to release in the fall of 2020. Thank you! 

Patient Updates

On September 27 Great Horned Owlet #20-0437 was released at dusk in Gladys, Virginia.

It was released in an open field which was surrounded by trees, a location that was very close to where it was originally found. Check out the video below to watch the release!

Great Horned Owlet #20-0437 has officially been cleared for release! After passing mouse school and demonstrating strong flight, this owl is ready to go home. Soon our veterinarians will perform a final checkup, before transferring #20-0437 to a transporter to be released back into the wild where it belongs.

Great Horned Owlet #20-0437 began exercise in the Center’s large flight pen A2 on September 1, 2020. Exercise notes remark that this bird is flying well — it has good form, and is able to fly low to the ground and swoop up to perch.

Papa G’Ho and the two owlets spent the summer in a flight pen at the Center; since the young owls will be in the Center’s care until this fall, the rehabilitation staff was able to utilize the larger A-pen space for a number of Bald Eagles and other raptors that were closer to release. Now that summer is ending, the staff wanted to return the owl family to a larger area so the young birds could have additional space as they practice flying. On August 19, Papa and the two young owls were moved back to A2.

There is a new Critter Cam in this space — one with an IR light, for night-time viewing! The cam will be streamed as soon as it is able to be added to the encoder list.

Papa G’Ho and the two young owlets are doing well in flight pen A2. The birds are growing up, and are eating well. Since the birds won’t be old enough to successfully provide for themselves until the fall, they have several months yet at the Wildlife Center. This weekend, the rehabilitation staff will move the owl family to flight pen #5, so that the team can utilize A2 for the growing young eagle patients, which will be released later this summer.