On April 10, a Great Horned Owlet #19-0341 and its nest mate, owlet #19-0340, were transferred from a permitted wildlife rehabilitator to the Wildlife Center. Private citizens found the owlets after they fell from their nest.
Upon admission, the veterinary staff auscultated [listened to] the owlet’s heart and lungs and heard a heart murmur and crackles in the lungs. Heart murmurs are not unremarkable in young birds, but it will need to be monitored. Crackles in the lungs indicate possible trauma or fluid in the lungs, though nothing unusual was identified on radiographs.
The rehabilitation team monitors the young owlets daily. By April 17, the rehabilitation no longer heard crackle sounds in the owlet’s lungs and the bird is successfully eating well on its own; it’s gained 290 grams since admission and weighs 1.0 kg as of April 23.
Owlets #19-0340 and #19-0341 are currently housed together in a crate in one of the Center’s holding areas. If owlet #19-0340’s begins to heal appropriately, the rehabilitation team will move both owlets in a crate to surrogate Great Horned Owl Papa G’Ho’s enclosure during the day and back inside at night. This will allow the young owls to see Papa and the other owlets he is currently fostering [#19-0148 and #19-0223]; this helps the owls to properly imprint on an adult of the same species.