Slowly but surely, things are looking up for a barred owl who came to VINS a few weeks ago with a broken wing and massive head trauma. We suspect the bird was struck by a car.
See a video of this bird's care at VINS.
Today, VINS Wildlife Services Manager Sara Eisenhauer removed the wrap (that's the red material you see in the photo) that had been placed on the owl's right wing when admitted for care. The wing was wrapped to stabilize a fracture in the bird's wrist, and upon removal, a nice callous had formed proving the bone had grown back together at the fracture site. In addition to the healed fracture, the owl's head trauma has vanished with a mixture of medication and time.
Next up for this owl is some gentle physical therapy, performed daily to the owl's wing over the next few weeks. Once the wing has more flexibility, we'll test his flying ability in our flight cage. If all goes well, this barred will enjoy the rest of the winter in the woods of Vermont.
Below, Sara takes a close look at the fracture site after removing the wrap. See a video of this owl's care.