Fall is a time of change - temperatures cool, leaves transition from green to beautiful hues of yellow, orange, and red; and many species of birds take to the sky as they begin their annual migration south. During this time, TRC sees several raptor species not seen during other seasons of the year. One such species is the short-eared owl. This widely distributed medium-sized owl is a bird of open grasslands, marshes and the tundra. It has an extensive range from Alaska, throughout North and South America, and even can be found on some islands in Galapagos (600 miles west of Equador). Birds in the extreme northern part of this range migrate south, the distance not well known. However what is known is that increased movements predisposes them to injuries and that is why TRC’s clinic treats a few each fall.
TRC case number 11-535 is an adult female short-eared owl injured in Floodwood, MN on 10/2/11. She suffered an open fracture of the right humerus from an unknown cause and underwent surgery to align and stabilize the fracture under the skilled hands of Dr. Irene Bueno, TRC’s veterinary resident from Spain. The bird is in the early stages of recovery and is doing well. It will take a good month for the fracture to heal, after which the owl will move into the reconditioning component of her recovery program.