AVC Wildlife Service releases barred owl in Macphail Woods

Flying again!
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Jim Martell watches the barred owl he rescued stretch out its wings in flight at Macphail Woods. Photo: Ryan Ross, The Guardian.

The AVC Wildlife Service released a beautiful barred owl on Tuesday, April 25, at Macphail Woods in Orwell, PEI. The emaciated and injured owl was found by Jim Martell in his yard in Charlottetown on March 4. Mr. Martell captured the owl in a blanket and brought it to the AVC.

A physical examination revealed a severe injury to the owl’s left eye. After the bird was stabilized and had gained weight, Dr. Helene VanDoninck, of the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Brookfield, Nova Scotia, performed surgery on March 21, removing the injured eye. The owl recovered from surgery very well and spent a few weeks with falconer Jamie Stride to prepare for its release.

Even with only one eye, owls can hunt in their natural environment. The birds have multiple adaptations that make them efficient predators, including silent flight, acute directional hearing, highly light-sensitive three-dimensional vision, and the ability to turn their heads left and right up to 270 degrees and almost upside down.

Click here to watch a video of the release created by Eric Edward, Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project.

Anna MacDonald
AVC External Relations Officer
Atlantic Veterinary College
(902) 566-6786
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