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It’s that time of year again when the snow flies, the temperatures dip, and the barred owls come in droves to VINS. While the snow and colder weather make for a winter wonderland, they also put many animals in the wild to the ultimate test of survival.
When the snow piles up, it’s harder for animals to find food. First-year birds — meaning those born this spring and summer — may not have honed their hunting skills, and snow upon the ground doesn’t help. Without successful hunts, raptors such as the barred owl may become weak due to hunger, and a weak bird has a much greater of chance of sustaining injuries while on the prowl. Many such owls — first years and adults — are admitted to VINS suffering from head trauma or broken bones after being struck by a car. They are more easily struck by a car while flying over a road when they are weak. While we treat the head trauma and fractures, we often find ourselves treating starvation and emaciation as well.
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