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Short-eared Owl found at airport

Posted by tinsley hunsdorfer at Jan 21, 2013 04:50 PM |
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Jan. 21, 2013: Last week, staff at Portland International Airport discovered an injured Short-eared Owl on an airfield and quickly brought the bird to the care center. Sadly, the owl died last night, once again illustrating an unfortunate reality of wildlife rehabilitation - despite our best efforts, we sometimes receive animals that are ultimately beyond help or medical care.

Short-eared Owl found at airport

Short-eared Owl - Tinsley Hunsdorfer

Planes aren’t the only things winging their way around the Portland airport – plenty of birds can also be found at PDX, including Short-eared Owls, small raptors with a penchant for open grassland habitat. Last week, airport staff discovered an injured Short-eared Owl on an airfield and quickly brought the bird to the care center.

Sadly, the owl died last night, once again illustrating an unfortunate reality of wildlife rehabilitation - despite our best efforts, we sometimes receive animals that are ultimately beyond help or medical care.

The owl had a mid-femur fracture in its left leg, but it’s not clear how it sustained the injury. For the bone to heal properly, a pin needed to be inserted in the owl’s leg, and Dr. David Barno of VCA Rock Creek Animal Hospital performed the necessary operation a few days ago. A big thank-you to Dr. Barno, who frequently volunteers his time to the care center.

Care center staff and volunteers had taken over the owl’s post-op care, with the hopes that we would be able to remove the pin in a few weeks. After the owl was found dead, the care center’s veterinarian performed a necropsy on the bird, which revealed internal bleeding that was a result of the owl's original injury.

Short-eared Owls are year-round residents of Oregon, but this doesn’t provide our region with much distinction. The species is one of the planet’s most widely distributed owls, found throughout much of the Americas, in Eurasia, and on many oceanic islands.

Short-eared Owl - Tinsley Hunsdorfer
Short-eared Owl - Tinsley Hunsdorfer
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