Thursday, September 30, 2010

Introducing Gandhi-Mottled Owl

We have 11 Owls living here with us. Each is unique and has an interesting story to tell. Our most recent refugee is a Mottled Owl that was bought into my vets office with a very bad wing. Someone found him hanging in bobbed wired and his wing was severely eaten by some animal. No telling how long he had been hanging there, but fortunately they got him down and to the vets office. He was so weak when he arrived he was sitting on the bottom of the cage and I had to prop him up with a stuffed teddy bear. We started treatment right away with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory and lots and lots of fluids. He did really well and the second night got his appetite back and has responded well to our treatments. The wing did not appear to be broken, so we tried to give it a chance to survive...however after several days we realized that he had no feeling in the wing and it was drying up and needed to be amputated. So, off to the vets again for the surgery. He survived the surgery well and is making progress. We now have to set him up in a larger cage with several perches at different distances apart so that he can begin his physical therapy of hopping and learning to balance with just one wing. We named him Gandhi, he has such a peaceful demeanor.

We have another owl with similar history and so we now have a routine when this happens. Hopefully once he is doing better we can adapt him to the other Mottled owls and he can live with them and have some company. Socrates has only one wing and his wife Delphi, came in as a tiny baby.

I never envisioned myself taking care of owls, but after I gained the trust of our Fish and Wildlife officers, (first with parrots and toucans) whenever they would find any type of bird they would call after hearing from several other sources..."no we don't take baby owls, they just die...or, no we don't want an owl with only one wing" I decided to learn all I could about owls. Fortunately I have help from a wonderful lady named Jenny Papka who rescues raptors in the states and she helps with every owl that comes in. Please help support her efforts as well. Check them out at I am now known for caring for owls as well, but I can tell you that it is always with Jenny's help that these owls make it! Thanks Jenny!


  1. Hi, My name is Susan Ahalt and I run Ironside Bird Rescue in Wyoming. I've sent four raptors to Jenny over the years, she has become a great friend. She's "hawk whisperer" of the first order and you can do no wrong in getting her help. We don't have this species here so it's nice to see this little owl. We're not allowed to keep a bird that has a wing amputated above the elbow now that they've changed the rules. I love that you've managed to save Gandhi and the others.

  2. We loved the two little owls. Does their quality of life change much with only one wing? Or does it not matter because they don't have to fend for themselves anymore?

  3. Well, I would have to say yes it does change, they have trouble balancing at first and will of course never be able to fly and use the wing. But that said, animals are amazing and they can adapt really well. Socrates hops around his enclosure, sings at night and loves his wife, so that is good that he seems happy.

  4. Yay Owls!! I'm doing a science project on an owl now. I dont know what kind I'm doing yet though...