(Bubo virginianus). Patient Number 22-1919.
Date of admission: November 29, 2022.
Reason for admission: Head and eye trauma.
In 1977, the children of Alberta were asked to vote for a provincial bird. The children selected the great horned owl to be Alberta’s provincial bird, a title the species retains to this day. Great horned owls are one of Alberta’s most recognizable birds, easily identified by their 'horns'. Great horned owls are commonly found across the province, but wooded areas and river valleys are their preferred habitats. They are permanent residents of Alberta; these owls have adapted well to the cold temperatures of the winter months.
Like most owls, great horned owls are most active at night. Their excellent eyesight and hearing make them formidable predators during the evening and overnight hours. These owls prey on several species of birds and rodents, but will also prey on hares. Great horned owls pair for life, with both owls caring for the young (owlets). Two or three eggs are laid each year at the end of February, or in early March.
This great horned owl was rescued from the Langdon area, after being found on the side of the road, not flying. Upon examination at AIWC’s hospital, it was discovered that he had likely been hit by a vehicle as he was suffering from head trauma and trauma to the left eye trauma.
With supportive care and a strict antibiotic regimen, we are hoping he will make a full recovery and be returned to the wild soon. Thank you for helping us to keep him forever wild!