Mar 12

Miracle Owl

We are pleased to bring you the story of one very lucky Great Grey Owl that was brought to our first aid station in Drayton Valley early December. Our volunteer vet, Savannah Howse-Smith from Rocky Rapids Veterinary Service, assisted Lil at our first aid station with an exam and x-rays to find that both wings were broken.

One fracture was in the hand of one wing while the other had a broken ulna. We felt neither would benefit from surgery so a bandaging technique was used on the wings. At the same time, the staff worked to make sure the bird was stable. We often lose birds when both wings are fractured as the body has also taken an impact causing internal organ damage. We were thrilled to find this bird stabilized quickly, indicating the body had not likely taken a serious impact.

This beautifu,l big, female Great Grey Owl was soon eating her pocket gophers and healing well. Bandages were changed weekly and the wings were gently stretched to prevent atrophy. Three weeks later her bandages were taken off and the wings were solidly healed. She had to be kept inside for the next month waiting for the cold weather to subside. We hate to place a patient into the outdoor recovery enclosures when it is very cold after they have spent some time inside in the warmth.

The weather warmed up for a few days mid-February and the bird was put into the larger flight area with the Snowy Owls and one other Great Grey. Not all species of owls can be kept together but these are two types that are quite unaggressive and get along well.

The Great Grey is now flying well and is scheduled to be released shortly!

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