April 4, 2005
A Great-gray owl, winter visitor of Wisconsin, native to the boreal forest of Canada is one of the most recent patients at REGI. The male bird was likely hit by a car near Hayward, Wisconsin. As with most wildlife, unless someone sees the incident occur we are not certain what the cause of the injury is and are left to follow clues to deciphering the case.
The bird was found near a road by a member of the public. It was not able to fly and seems to have an injury to the eye or soft tissue around the eye as the right eye was closed. The bird is very thin.
The beautiful owl is being tube fed emaciation diet. (Thanks to those that bring us baby-food as this is part of the diet) The feeding will continue until the bird is strong enough to eat on his own. Presently he is being stabilized with fluid and medication to prevent aspergillosis, a fungal infection that can be fatal to sensitive species such as the Great-gray owl.
The birds prognosis is guarded, but we hope this bird can be released before the end of the month so he can make his way back to his native home in the boreal forest.
This bird was transferred to REGI from Laura Rusk, a wildlife rehabilitator in Hayward. Networking is very important in this profession as it allows us to get the best care for specific species that other rehabilitators may specialize in. Along with the net working are important people that transport the birds from one city to another. Occasionally we have private pilots that fly birds to us, but this time transportation was done on land. Deb Tegals transported the owl from Hayward to Medford, Gayle Davis took the middle leg, from Medford to Merrill, meeting Marge and handing off the bird for the final part of it's journey to Regi.
Thanks to all that have had a part in this birds recovery thus far.