Great Horned Owlet #19-0341

Admission Date: 
April 10, 2019
Location of Rescue: 
Henrico County
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Fell from nest
Prognosis: 
Guarded
Patient Status: 
Current Patient

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.

Your donation will help provide supportive care to this owlet -- and our entire owl family! -- for the next six months! Thanks for your help. 

Updates

May 2, 2019

Great Horned Owlet #19-0341 is doing well and gaining weight -- the owl weighed 1.1 kilograms as of April 29.  On April 26, the rehabilitation began acclimating the owlet outside; each morning, the bird’s crate was moved into a flight pen with the Center’s surrogate Great Horned Owl Papa G’Ho and the two other owlets currently in his care [owlets #19-0148 and #19-0223].

After several days of acclimation and introduction to the others birds, owlet #19-0341 was allowed out of its crate into the flight pen with the other owls on April 30. The owlet will remain with the other owls for several months; in the early fall, all of the owlets will be separated to be individually prepared for release with flight conditioning and live prey testing.