This is a Great Horned Owl (with a seemingly disapproving look). One of our volunteers is holding this owl while one of our supervisors feeds it.
It came in to the center on Friday after getting caught in barbed wire. This is something that happens more often than people realize. If you see an owl, or any animal caught in a barbed wire fence, make sure to cut the wire and bring the animal in with the wire still intact. If you attempt to free the animal, it could potentially do more damage.
That being said, this owl had the wire removed at the center, and is was seen by a vet this past Monday. We help the owl eat because it doesn’t seem to want to on its own. I photographed him during one of his feedings, because as you can imagine, it is stressful for the bird to be taken out of his cage, and we wouldn’t do so simply for a photo. After he was taken out and his talons secured, the superviser went it and opened his mouth up to put some food in.
The great horned owl doesn’t actually have horns of course, it is simply the ear tufts that make him look horned. This owl is the second largest in North America, and has been known to hunt animals as large as skunks! Since owls are, next to red tailed hawks, perhaps the main predator of crows and their young, crows sometimes congregate from considerable distances to mob owls and caw angrily at them for hours on end. When the owls try to fly off to avoid this harassment, they are often followed by the corvids. It is the strangest phenomenon that I experienced for the first time with our educational animal, Max the Great Horned Owl. During one of his public appearances, all of the crows in the area suddenly gathered on a nearby tree and started yelling non stop! They had gathered to maybe 20 crows when we finally decided it was best to put Max back in his cage to ease the stress for him and the local birds. How strange it was though.
Max’s mission is to share his story with the public and to allow the opportunity to see the animals we are saving up close and personal. If you wish to donate to the center, one great way to do so is to cover the veterinary bill for one or several of the animals. If you would like to donate, visit our website.
We are thankful for every penny that comes in, so please, take just a moment to donate any amount. It takes an entire community working in partnership to preserve and ensure the humane treatment, rehabilitation and care of our vital wildlife.