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An owl visited us for Valentine's Day...

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  • An owl visited us for Valentine's Day...

    Last night, DH was coming down our 1/2 mile driveway when he spotted something hopping down the driveway, attempting to fly. He called me...

    "There is an owl in our driveway."
    "What?"
    "There is an owl...who looks injured...in our driveway."
    "Hold on - let me call some raptor folks."

    I turned on the computer and found Georgia DNR's website for wildlife rehabilitators, and I started calling numbers. I went through four numbers and left four voicemails to no avail.

    Because I didn't want this owl any more stressed than he was, I grabbed a plastic dog crate, put some hay in it, grabbed a towel and leather gloves, and away I went (dressed in my pajamas, complete with a red fleece and a Scooby-Doo ski hat) with flashlight in hand.

    When I came up to where DH was standing, there he was: an adult Great Horned Owl perched on a little limb off to the side of the driveway (where he had hopped from DH.)

    DH donned the leather work gloves and grabbed the towel as he tried to sneak up behind Mr. Owl (since 30 minutes had passed, and no return calls were received.) He was able to get Mr. Owl covered in a towel while I lightly tossed part of the towel over his face to calm him down. Unfortunately, when DH went to grab his feet and support his back, Mr. Owl and his reflexes decided to say, "uh uh, Mister" and grabbed onto the leather gloves.....that were then pierced by Mr. Owl's talons and into DH's wrists. We left Mr. Owl alone until he calmed down enough to wiggle DH's hands out of the leather gloves as I lifted the covered owl into his transport crate.

    After going through a network of 8 different night answering services, they directed us to an Emergency Vet Clinic in the area where we could take Mr. Owl. So we did

    The Clinic said that we could call to check on him after 4 p.m. today. In the meantime, I received two call backs from rehabilitators. One doesn't do birds of prey, and the other one does (and is near our house.) When I call to check up on Mr. Owl, I'll be letting them know that they can contact the second rehabilitator as she has a spot for him
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Originally posted by talkofthetown
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

  • #2
    We raised two owlets that the parent was shot for killing chickens.
    They were very interesting to watch grow and release and see one come back every year to nest where we released them.

    We have several owls here, one stays in the horse barn at times and cleans the little birds out for us.

    Will be interesting to hear what they tell you, if his injuries were treatable and how they will proceed.

    You didn't happen to have taken pictures, did you?

    How is your husband wrist he scratched?

    Comment


    • #3
      You have just totally made my day. Thank you for caring. Please keep us apprised of the health of Mr. Owl.

      http://community.webshots.com/user/ballyduff
      \"If you are going through hell, keep going.\" ~Churchill~

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Bluey View Post

        Will be interesting to hear what they tell you, if his injuries were treatable and how they will proceed.

        You didn't happen to have taken pictures, did you?

        How is your husband wrist he scratched?
        Well I can't call the clinic until after 4pm when they open, but the rehabilitator that has been doing this for twenty-seven years was upset we took him where we did because they do not have a good wildlife history

        We did not take pictures, but our neighbor saw us tromping around in the woods between our driveway and her backyard and came out. She attempted to take some, but I don't know if they came out or not. I *hope* they did. DH took a picture when he first saw him, but it's just a blur.

        DH is doing fine He's an EMT so as soon as we were done loading Mr. Owl into the car, he immediately started cleaning his scratches with First Aid items in the car. They looked okay today, but we'll still keep an eye on them just to be sure.

        On the brighter side of things, after speaking with the rehabilitator on the phone this morning, she said she would love to have a knowledgeable volunteer help at her facility - mainly with feeding which is no issues for me since I've fed (and cleaned) before
        If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
        DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
        Originally posted by talkofthetown
        As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

        Comment


        • #5
          I hope you get good news - thank you for helping the injured owl. We have some living in our woods, they have fledged owlets (is that what they are called?) and we often hear them calling to each other: who cooks for you? who cooks for you? It's so lovely.

          Comment


          • #6
            Then you have Barred Owls, 3020!

            I would love to put up a Nesting Box to attract barn owls. We have a good location and plenty of rodents.

            I watch a live streaming of a pair of Barnies in California, currently incubating 4 eggs. They successfully raised 6 owlets last year. Come watch! http://kangarobin.cixx6.com/
            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              We have a variety of owls around the farm We hear "who cooks for you" and we also hear the "purring hoot" of the Great Horned Owl (who is probably this guy.) We also had a Screech Owl through a hissy fit behind our hen house Needless to say...it's never a dull moment.

              All owls (and hawks....and other raptors) are gorgeous birds, but I love the GHOs and Barn Owls (The Barn Owl fondness may have been due in part to "Labyrinth" though.)
              If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
              DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
              Originally posted by talkofthetown
              As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

              Comment


              • #8
                Wonderful story. You did a mitzvah, Hydro and Mr. Hydro.

                I love owls-lucky you to have them as neighbors! I love the "who cooks for you?"--wish I could hear that sometime. Not likely in Uberburbia..we just get pigeons and the occasional hawk. And vultures.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Lovey, yes, a friend told us a few years ago that the "cook" call was a barred owl. DH and I delight in watching the birds, and are especially fond of the raptors - kestrels, hawks, even buzzards. But there is something mystical about the owls, isn't there?

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Sad news about Mr. Owl

                    We called the Emergency Vet to check on them, and they informed us that due to a fractured wing, they had euthanized him. They hadn't even bothered to call any of the licensed bird of prey rehabbers in the area with experience with fractures and worse. Unfortunately, the rehabber I talked to (yesterday morning) said this facility has a high euthanization rate for birds of prey and wildlife, and this is not the first time. She said unless the break was near the joint, he could have been saved. Based on his lack of physical distress and the movement he was able to do, it was NOT a near-joint break.

                    She then showed me a photo of an owl with multiple fractures that had to have pins placed to heal. After having his pins removed and physical therapy, he was released.

                    Worse yet is there is a female GHO calling in the trees across the front pasture near where he was picked up. The rehabber informed me that at this time of year, they have owlets on the ground, and because the mom will be so over burdended with caring for herself and the owlets, she will more than likely sacrifice them to fend for herself.

                    The small silver lining is that we (Mr. Hydro and I) will be volunteering with her at her facility to prevent this from happening again. I will also be going on some walks to see if the owlets are strolling about yet or not (little round fluff balls with yellow eyes.)
                    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                    Originally posted by talkofthetown
                    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ugh - what a sad end, but bolstered up by major kudos to you for making the effort.

                      Over the years I've found that "wildlife rehabbers", even though licensed, just like human physicians, can be terrific or crap. One year hubby mowed over a rabbit's nest, & since I wasn't in a position at the time to care for them properly like I had in the past, I searched out & took them to a local "licensed" wildlife rehabber. The young still had closed eyes, but were fully furred, perfectly healthy & crawling about.

                      I should have known better when I found the rehabber's home a complete & total mess - littered with cages, kids, & a plethora of unhealthy-looking stray cats. My bad - & years later I'm still beating myself up over it. But at the time, I was just about to go into the hospital the next day & really didn't have many options.

                      When I called a week later to check up on the rabbits, she told me that they'd all died because they all had broken legs. Hello??? Not only were they perfectly healthy when I dropped them off, but since I used to breed rabbits, I certainly would have noticed if they "all had broken legs".

                      I reported her to the wildlife rehab licensing folks. Will have to check & see if she's still "in business". I sure hope not.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        This woman is definitely not crap. She has been doing rescue and rehab for twenty-seven years and has all of her cases documented with photos and paperwork. The Emergency Vet, on the other hand, was supposed to call any of the DNR-licensed rehabbers in the area to give them the bird of prey. Instead, they decided to euthanize without even calling someone.

                        After talking with the DNR, I learned that is NOT what is supposed to happen (not contacting a licensed rehabber and euthanizing.)
                        If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                        DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                        Originally posted by talkofthetown
                        As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm so sorry about the owl. I would definitely be telling everyone within hearing to stay away from the emergency "vet." If you brought a dog or a cat in with a broken leg, would they euthanize it??

                          Do owls eat food if it's not alive? I wonder if there would be some way to "feed" the mama owl closer to her nest - dead mice? Did the rehabber have any advice about feeding the remaining one and the owlets?
                          I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Unlike some hawks, I don't believe there are any owls who will eat carrion (outside of nestlings, of course). If the "owlets" have already left the nest & are moving about on the ground, chances are excellent that "mom" will still continue to feed & raise them to flight stage.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Oh gosh, I almost hit a huge owl with my truck a few nights ago, and had an 'OMG, What-If' moment. It came out of nowhere and right at the headlights but skirted the hood and flew upward and onward. It was beautiful and huge, I could see every feather on it's underside when it flew over the windshield. I wonder where it lives or what breed it was.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Guin View Post
                                I'm so sorry about the owl. I would definitely be telling everyone within hearing to stay away from the emergency "vet." If you brought a dog or a cat in with a broken leg, would they euthanize it??

                                Do owls eat food if it's not alive? I wonder if there would be some way to "feed" the mama owl closer to her nest - dead mice? Did the rehabber have any advice about feeding the remaining one and the owlets?
                                The ER Vet will most certainly treat a person's pet because they are getting paid to do so. The Emergency Vet doesn't get paid to care for wildlife.

                                Owls can and have eaten carrion, but that doesn't mean this one will. The rehabber was not optimistic about the outcome of the owlets (if there are any.) As I don't know the exact location from where the calling is coming, I don't know exactly where she may be. I have walked the fenceline and woods from the area where the calls were coming on Tuesday, but unless she is actively calling, I would not be able to find her. Even so, I couldn't do much other than say, "there she is" since the trees are a good 30+ feet tall.
                                If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                                DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                                Originally posted by talkofthetown
                                As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I don't know about Great Horned owls, but I have seen in a book how to build a 'feeder' for barn owls when winters are cold and snowy: You build a cube of about 3 feet, open top and bottom, and fill it with layers of gravel or similar and grain/milling leftovers. Add a perch to it on one side. This is supposed to attract rodents so the owls can basically have their own pantry/fridge.

                                  I am sorry to hear that the vet was such a jerk.
                                  Originally posted by BigMama1
                                  Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                  GNU Terry Prachett

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