Eastern Screech-Owl #21-0509 has been doing well in his enclosure, along with several other young screech-owls. The bird no longer has any discernable head tilt, can successfully feed himself, and has been able to move to different perches within the enclosure. Within the past two weeks, the staff began a regular exercise program for all young owlets, in preparation for releasing them sometime during August. Unfortunately, the staff quickly discovered that, in a larger flight space, the Eastern Screech-Owl is having difficulty flying and navigating a larger space. The bird often flaps and lands on the ground, using its wings to balance itself, and generally seems disoriented.
Sadly, it's likely that the lead toxicity has had permanent neurological effects on the young owl; given the extremely debilitated condition of the bird at admission, and many rounds of treatment for intermittent increased lead levels, it's not surprising that this bird has these issues. A recent blood draw and lead test revealed a slightly elevated lead level again; the staff started yet another course of treatment for the bird while the staff makes some long-term decisions for the owlet. There is a small chance that the bird may be suited for placement as a non-releasable owlet, though a complete assessment will need to be made, along with a review of all medical issues, including neurological defects.