Wildlife Rehabilitation
Helping Out a Fledgling Barred Owl

Helping Out a Fledgling Barred Owl

In mid-April, we received a call about a fledgling Barred Owl on the ground. With the parents still around, we asked the finder to leave him be for the day, hoping he would find his way back up the tree. Near dusk, the finder sent us some amusing pictures of the fledgling starting to climb back up the tree. With this encouraging news, we advised the finder to leave him alone.

Fledgling Barred owl making its way back up a tree to its nest.

The staff here at Northwoods Wildlife Center always call the finders back after a day or two of renesting or rehoming an animal to ensure it was successful. Two days later, staff called the finder to see how things were going, only to find out they were only in town for the week and were back home now. Staff went to check on the little guy since we could not confirm that the Barred Owl fledgling had successfully made it up the tree. When Sheridan, one of our wildlife rehabilitators, arrived, she found the Barred Owl once more on the ground. As she observed the area, she did not see any parents, and the owl was slightly dehydrated. Due to this and the uncertainty of how long he had been on the ground, Sheridan brought him to work that morning.
Upon admission, he was given some Sub Q fluids, and shortly after arriving at our facility, he pelleted a very healthy pellet. Although other birds of prey will occasionally pellet, owls do not have a crop, meaning they will swallow their prey whole and “puke” or pellet up the bones and fur. Since the owl had pelleted, it was confirmed that parents had been feeding him recently. Throughout the day, the owl began to perk up, and staff felt comfortable trying to renest him again.
As dusk approached, Sheridan returned the owlet to the tree he had been found under. Sure enough, one of the parents was in the tree above, clacking it’s beak at Sheridan as she approached. The following day, staff member Ashley returned in the early morning to ensure that all was well. To her relief, there was no sign of the owlet on the ground, meaning that he had successfully made it back up the tree to tell his parents about his adventure with some odd-looking creatures.

You can help animals like these by donating to the Northwoods Wildlife Center. We are a 501-c3 non-profit organization that relies on donations to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife that needs our help.