AVC Wildlife Service releases northern saw-whet owl

Back on the wing!
| Atlantic Veterinary College

After spending a month at AVC’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, a northern saw-whet owl was released in southern Kings County in late October.

The bird was found near the home of Melissa Mullen and Rob MacLean in Lewes, PEI, on the morning of September 27. Gary Kennedy, who found the owl, took it to AVC where the Wildlife Service determined through a physical examination and radiographs that it did not have any broken bones. However, the bird could not fly or stand without support. The wildlife team suspected that it was suffering from head trauma caused by striking a window, and the best treatment would be supportive care and time to heal.

AVC Wildlife Service staff and students fed the owl until it was able to eat on its own. It gradually improved, flying short distances, and was moved into a larger enclosure with more room to fly. After making sure it was able to fly and forage well, the wildlife team released it close to where it was found.

Northern saw-whet owls are tiny birds with catlike faces, oversized heads, and bright yellow eyes. They are efficient hunters, silently swooping down on their prey—primarily small rodents. One of the most common owls in North America, these nocturnal owls live in mixed-woods forests.



Anna MacDonald
AVC External Relations Officer
Atlantic Veterinary College