Soarin' Hawk - 1102017 Great Horned Owl - 1 -
The owl had flown across the road from a 20 ft tree, after a prey item and was struck by a car. The car suffered a broken headlight and the bird ended up stunned on the side of the road. When Det Torrey arrived, the bird was starting to stand. After the accident scene was cleared, the bird walked away toward the ditch dragging its wing. The detective place a spare jacket over the bird which it grabbed with both talons. I arrived about 20 minutes later after an uneventful but fast dash up I69 and maneuvering some interesting snowy backroads. With a little help from the officer, I crossed the ditch, uncoverd the owl that greeted me with wide eyes and a little bill clacking. In an on-the-spot training session, I demonstrated for the detective, how to pick up a raptor without incurring injuries. A quick exam showed a broken left wing. The bird was placed in a rescue box for its half hour ride home. Since Pat would probably not be awake at 12:45 AM I decided to take it to Pine Valley Vet Clinic later in the morning.
1-10-2017: Medical evaluation by our avian veterinarian: This Great Horn, although having been hit by a car, was very bright and alert. The only obvious injury is a broken left humerus, the top bone in the wing. It does appear to be surgically repairable. Surgery is tentatively scheduled for tomorrow.
The Great Escape - no bars can hold me back
THE GREAT "ESCAPE" HORNED OWL
Standing on the side of the pathway, the Great Horned Owl had somehow sustained a fractured left humerus. So with the help of the powerful healer, she was subdued and the healer tended to her wounds. She was transported to a locked chamber to mend. I was tasked with bringing her food, water, and medicine after the sun had set. She vowed to me that my life would end and she would escape these chambers.
Every evening I would prepare her meal as well as prepare myself for battle. I equipped my Kevlar gloves and my towel that was my shield. I crept down the corridor but she would hear me coming. She would hiss and clack and upon reaching her chambers she would throw herself against the door. Reminding me of her vow.
After building up enough courage, I would open the locked chamber door and swiftly go in to leave her meal. I would rush out quickly as she was on my heels lunging, hissing, hooting, and clacking. Relieved that I had survived, I would finish my chores and finally settle into bed. I would hear loud bangs, booms, and dishes being thrown around.
Weeks and weeks went by and every evening was the same. Except one evening, her hoots seemed to be a little off. Like she was in a different place. I crept down the corridor and what did I find? She had escaped! The Great Horned Owl stood high on top of the chamber, proud that she had made her grand escape.
With the help of my companion, we subdued her and transported her to a much larger chamber where she can stretch her wings. She will now prepare for her grand release. Release back into wild, where maybe another Great Horned Owl is waiting for her.
This Great Horn Owl is one of the most aggressive owls we have had for a long time! He ended up having to have a second orthopedic surgery because of the damage he did to himself as he removed his wing wrap. Masking tape, believe it or not, is the preferred bandage material for wrapping an injured wing to the body. Other types stick too well and rips out the feathers when removed. Despite having put many layers of masking tape on because he was chewing on it, he managed to rip off his wrap. So now he has a couple layers of duct tape over his masking tape wing wrap! We pray he recovers completely and goes back to the wild!
For more the "escape artist'
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3-24-17: We were finally able to pull the pin from his fractured humerus. Unfortunately he does not have full range of motion in his elbow. Daily physical therapy has begun. He has a guarded prognosis for return to the wild.
Birds of Prey rely on expert flight skills to hunt successfully. After surgery, several weeks or months of physical therapy is necessary before the bird is able to successfully hunt again. Step 1 is returning full motion after surgery. Be sure to watch the video on how physical therapy is performed. Step 2 will be exercise to regain strength.
We are still stretching this bird's elbow daily. He still is not able to fully extend his wing since his orthopedic surgery. We will begin creance flying him this week to give his wing even more exercise. His prognosis for release is guarded.