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The Blind Owl
When people are involved in car accidents, ambulances and aid vehicles rush to the scene. When this barred owl was struck by a car, he was at the mercy of passers-by, one of whom thankfully called the West Sound Wildlife Shelter. After an initial exam, the owl showed all the usual signs of head trauma, dehydration, and stress. And one thing more - it couldn't see.
Owls have been known to survive with only one eye (read about our one-eyed saw whet owl patient), but clearly a blind owl couldn't hunt to feed itself. Our rehab staff sprang into action, consulting with other rehabbers to find out if blindness from this cause would be permanent.
What they heard was discouraging. One bald eagle at another center had recovered its sight after 6 months, but no one could promise whether the same thing would happen with this owl. One thing was certain - without a wildlife hospital, this owl would die.
And then...wonderful news! One morning, the volunteers noticed that the owl (which had been hand fed up to this point) was looking at its food. By the following day, it could find its meals on its own and was on its way to a full recovery. After going to the flight enclosure, it began hunting and finding live prey. The owl was then pronounced fully recovered. The overjoyed staff and volunteers soon moved the owl to the new C. Keith Birkenfeld Flight Cage, where it could stretch its wings and get ready to return to the wild. On a very happy evening, this owl was released back to the wild!
Read more about barred owls.