Update: Great-horned Owl

The great-horned owl that came to VINS drenched in whey is still receiving care from the Wildlife Services department. The owl’s feathers have been cleaned of whey, but we are still contending with a wound on one of her wing tips.

The wound is regularly cleaned and debrided of dead tissue to encourage new tissue growth, which hopefully will allow the wound to fully heal. This particular owl is a tough customer, and she is adamant about ripping
off the bandages we put on her wing tip. This is problematic as we do not want to expose her wound to further infection. After trying all sorts of methods to keep the bandage on her, we finally settled on duct tape — definitely not a common tool here in the Wildlife Services department, but it works. The duct tape does not come in contact with the owl’s wound — it merely holds the bandage in place (which is no small feat with such a nitpicky bird).

The owl was recently moved to a larger enclosure, is eating well and is maintaining a bright and feisty attitude — all good things. Check back for more updates on this big girl.


  1. Anonymous on September 26, 2010 at 4:27 am


  2. Anonymous on November 13, 2010 at 2:36 am

    How is this Great Horned Owl doing now? Is it ready to be released yet?

  3. Meghan on November 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    We still have this great-horned owl in our care, as we are still working on ridding her feathers of the whey. It is not an easy task. We have begun what I guess you could call an aggressive cleaning schedule on her (but not so aggressive as to cause her undue stress). We have been in touch with the farmers who produced the whey to see what they use to rid farm equipment and what not of whey — maybe the cleaning product or method they use will work better than the soap and hydrogen peroxide we've tried on the owl. But of course it will have to be something safe for the bird.

  4. Anonymous on December 15, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Have you tried using Simple Green, 7th Generation or similar products for household cleaning?

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