Great Horned Owl: SB Wildlife Care Network's Patient of the Week
Source: Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network
Great horned owl Patient #3602
On August 21, the folks at Rio Vista Chevrolet in Buellton found an injured great horned owl on their property. They called Santa Barbara Animal Control, who transported the owl down to the Wildlife Care Center in Goleta. Wildlife staff took x-rays and discovered the owl had a fractured bone in the left wing and a partially dislocated bone in the right wing. He also had some head feathers missing and some injuries to his left eye. He may have been hit by a car. The poor owl had been through a lot.
Wildlife veterinarian Dr. Avery Berkowitz pinned the owl's left ulna. The owl healed quickly and ate well (so many mice). After three weeks, the owl's ulna had healed well, and the pins were removed. Both his wings looked to be in good shape, his eye was in working order, and his head feathers were growing back in. Wildlife staff moved him to a small flight aviary to practice flying again.
After proving to be a good flyer in the small aviary, the bird was moved to a larger flight aviary to be able to really stretch his wings. He passed his flight test with flying colors. He was ready for release back to the wild.
Wildlife Care Network Executive Director, Ariana Katovich, brought the owl back to Buellton. He flew off over the hills of his familiar home. The Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network wishes this owl all the best at his second chance at life in the wild.
If you'd like to support the care for birds of prey like this owl, consider giving to the Raptor and Mammal Food Fund, which goes towards the food needed to help owls like this one stay healthy and recover: https://sbwcn.kindful.com/?campaign=1067655