(Bubo virginianus). Patient Number 21-136.
Date of admission: April 24, 2021.
Reason for admission: Fell from nest.
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 owlet was found on the ground beneath his nest tree, along with his sibling. Since the owlets were very young, they were brought into care at AIWC to be examined for any injuries. After they were both cleared for release it was time to get them back into the wild! One of our volunteers is a pro at this type of work and he was able to construct a new nest for them and return them home. Mum and dad are still hanging around the area and have already been observed bringing back food for the young already. We are so happy this story had such a happy ending, and it’s thanks to your support we were able to care for these owlets until their release.