SNN (ScrollingNetworkNews) ✿ ✿ Our Mel and Sydney returned to their nesting box with plenty of bonding occurring..but after 2.5 months of Sydney in the box from Dec 2013 to mid Feb 2014, the lack of prey gifts from Mel ( perhaps due to the severe and historic drought underway in California)and they have forgone the nesting process this year as many other raptors ✿ Compared to other owls of similar size, the Barn Owl has a much higher metabolic rate, requiring relatively more food. Pound for pound, Barn Owls consume more rodents – often regarded as pests by humans – than possibly any other creature. ✿ We remind viewers that sometimes owlets may not survive - the parents will dispose of things in "The Owl Way" -viewer discretion is advised, this is nature and the "Owl way". ✿ ~ ✿ “Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.” ― Gary Kowalski, The Souls of Animals ✿ Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." ~ E.O. Wilson

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wildlife Center of Virigina

PATIENT: Great Horned Owl
LOCATION OF RESCUE: Augusta County, Virginia
ADMISSION DATE: January 24, 2012

On January 24, a Great Horned Owl was found down in the woods in Augusta County. The owl appeared to have an injury to its right wing; the rescuer captured the owl and brought it to the Wildlife Center for treatment.

Upon admission, Dr. Miranda Sadar found that the owl did have a right wing droop, though she was not able to palpate any fractures. The owl was also very thin and had mild retinal scarring in both eyes. Dr. Miranda gave fluids to the bird and placed it in one of the Center’s critical care chambers for the night.

The following day, the Great Horned Owl #12-0050 was observed holding its left wing out. Radiographs were taken; Dr. Miranda did not see any abnormalities. Since there was no apparent explanation on physical examination or radiographs for the way the owl was holding its wings, Dr. Miranda decided to run an in-house lead test on the owl. While lead toxicity is not a common cause of admission for owls, Dr. Miranda was suspicious based on the owl’s presentation. The lead test came back as “high” — meaning that the lead level was more than 0.65 ppm.

The Wildlife Center veterinary team recently decided to try a new technique for testing in-house lead levels in raptor blood — after receiving a “high” reading, they are diluting the blood sample and running another test to see if an exact reading can be obtained. Blood samples are still sent to an outside lab for confirmation – this will confirm that the dilution technique is effective. After using the dilution technique on this owl’s blood sample, the staff was able to calculate a lead level of 2.72 ppm.

Chelation therapy was started immediately and will continue for five days.

Center veterinarians surmise that this owl was exposed to lead after preying on some animal that had been shot. Thus far in 2012, the Center has admitted five patients with lead toxicity [two Bald Eagles, a Red-tailed Hawk, and a Black Vulture].
The center is the same center who is still caring for NX from the Norfolk Botanical Gardens nest of rescued eaglets.