Skip to main content

20230701-Great Horned Owl-1

Admission Date
Rescue Location
Decatur, IN

10/7/2023 - After 97 days with us, this fledgling GHOW gained weight, passed mouse school and was able to be released on the property from which it came.  As she soared into the trees, you could hear the displeasure of the resident blue jays! - Rescuer Mary 


We received a call to the rescue line about an owl down on the ground at the edge of a corn field.  When the caller’s picture came through, I could tell it was a baby great horned owl.  I spoke with the caller and asked if they could try to contain it and provided them with instructions and he said he would try to do that.  I headed out to their location which was south of Decatur, IN.  I arrived and was transported back to the area and we saw that they had the baby wrapped in a sheet in a laundry basket.  I was able to easily get a hold of the owl for a quick field exam.  I couldn’t find anything wrong with the wings, talons, or eyes but it did feel a bit “thin” to me when I checked the keel.  Their children happened to see the owl on Friday, June 30th, while they were out looking for a lost dog.  They decided to go back to that same location today and the owl was still there, so they contacted us.  Since it was a bit thin and no parents were observed in the area, I decided to bring it back to Soarin’ Hawk for evaluation.  After triage, nothing significant was found except for some white plaque in the mouth which was cleaned out and the keel score was a 2 (a healthy score is 3-4).  It was given fluids and fed venison, which it readily ate.  Since this is a first-year bird, sometimes they don’t learn how to hunt and feed themselves properly so in our care, we hope we can get it back to a good weight and put it through “mouse school” where we can assess how well it can hunt so that it can be released.