Recently I had the privilege to help Marilyn Gamette, director of the Bidwell Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (BWRC), age and sex a saw-whet owl. The owl was found stunned in the road by a couple who saw her, stopped, and picked her up. They wrapped her in a towel and took her to BWRC. Marilyn knew the owl had a head trauma (likely hit by a car) because one of her pupils was very slow to respond.
|Note a slight unevenness in the owl's pupils, |
her right pupil larger than then her left.
After 1 and 1/2 months of rehabilitation, her pupils responded equally. Marilyn said the owl had no problem eating a couple of mice a day, and at a hefty 108 grams, she was fit to fly. We determined by her feather pattern that she had hatched in the summer of 2012. Marilyn will release her in the Pine Creek Unit where there is abundant dense vegetation for roosting and plenty of prey for the winter.
|Marilyn Gamette, BWRC's Director, and rehabilitated saw-whet owl|
The kindness of the rescuers and Marilyn's expertise gave a second chance to this saw-whet owl. Bidwell Wildlife Rehab treats and releases hundreds of wildlife a year supported mostly through the generosity of private donations. Thank you owl rescuers and BWRC! Check out this darling video of a Saw-whet Owl being released.