Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

owl201This female Great Horned Owl was found on the road near Jackson Creek Middle School. X-rays showed a broken ulna in the left wing. With raptors, the females are larger than the males. This female was one of the largest we’ve taken in, making her a challenge to handle! A wing wrap was applied to keep the bone in place while healing, but she kept taking it off.
We decided to just leave her in a carrier big enough for her to be comfortable, but not big enough for her to flap thowl202e wing. It worked well. After 2 weeks we were able to move her to progressively larger cages until she was ready for strength and flight conditioning.Flight conditioning involves a modified version of the falconer’s practice of creance. The bird is attached to a line and flies out 100 to 200 feet then gently brought down to the ground. As the bird regains strength and stamina, it is able to fly longer distances and fly more repetitions without getting tired. It is about a 5-week process for the bird to be strong enough to release. This is important for birds of prey,  as they need that stamina to find and catch dinner.

owl203This owl progressed wonderfully and was able to be released near where she was found. If you visit YouTube, you can see a short video of her release on June 11th. The video is short because she did not waste any time getting away from us and back home!

Flight strengthening video on YouTube.

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