Jul 12, 2018

Grounded owl recovers

By Deanna Barth 

Photo: Rene Rodriguez .  https://www.renerodriguezphotography.com

I received a call from a concerned couple in Paicines on May 5th, when they discovered this injured Great-horned owl on their property. After making several calls in an attempt to find help, they quickly discovered that doing so in this county is no easy feat! 

They finally contacted the SPCA for Monterey County wildlife center who in turn gave them my number. 

It was a beautiful drive to the location but I was dismayed at what I found. The owl had tucked itself into a hole in the ground and appeared weak and unwary. Significant puncture wounds were apparent on the left wing and fearing it may also be fractured, I explained to the couple that the prognosis looked poor. 

To my pleasant surprise, the thorough evaluation given by wildlife center staff showed the wing was not broken, however, it would require extensive care. I was cautiously optimistic each time I asked for an update, but with their wound care and physical therapy it continued to improve. 

Finally, after two months, I was filled with joy to make the drive once again, this time with the honor of returning this beautiful bird back home just before sunset. 

(Thank you to Rene Rodriguez for the photo)