Great Horned Owl
After a long recovery, this Great Horned Owl will soon be released back to school. Found under a tree at Sabino Canyon High School, she was lethargic and unable to fly. Upon arriving at Tucson Wildlife Center, a health assessment by the wildlife care team determined the owl had damage to both eyes and had broken or singed feathers over most of her body. Her eyes recovered but the team had to wait for her to molt new feathers before releasing her. She never molted.
To enable the owl to fly again, TWC’s wildlife care they gave her a few new feathers. This avian rehabilitation technique is called “imping.” Short for implantation, imping is a process in which donor feathers of the same species replace broken or missing feathers by fitting into the shaft of the old feather. Eventually, she will molt and lose the borrowed feathers, then grow her own new ones, a few at a time. In the meantime, she is flying beautifully and conditioning for release!
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