Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation - Great-Horned Owlet
Two weeks ago, a baby Great-Horned Owl was brought into Wildlife Prairie State Park. Our licensed animal rehabilitator has been caring for the owlet with the intent to release him back into the wild. This photo is what baby Great-Horned Owlet looks right now...notice the beginning of "horns" (actually tufts of feathers) on his head! Even though this baby looks big, he is only approximately 5 weeks old...remember, mature Great-Horned Owls are 20" high and have a 4-5' wingspan!
Great-Horned owls begin pair formation and nesting in mid-January to mid-March. The young remain in the nest for about 6 weeks and then climb out on nearby branches. They begin taking short flights at 7 weeks and can fly well at 9-10 weeks. An interesting fact, both parents feed and tend to the young for several months more!
Our licensed rehabilitator hand-feeds Great-Horned Owlet on a regular schedule throughout the day. Cut up pieces of mice or rat are his favorite food! Mature Great-Horned owls eat primarily mammals such as rabbits, skunks, and rodents. However, they will eat a variety of birds including quail, ducks, and smaller owl species. To a lesser extent, amphibians, fish, and insects.
Great-Horned owls' call are given in a series of four to five deep, resonant hoots: hoo-hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo. Calls are heard most in the evening and predawn. They are mostly nocturnal, but may be seen during the day also.
Remember, many owlets are fledging (leaving the nest) at this time of the year, which does not necessarily mean they are abandoned! Please call WPSP at 676-0998 if you have any questions. Also, please consider a donation to our Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation...spring is a busy time of the year for our animal rehabilitator and caring for so many rescued friends is costly. We, as well as all the animals thank you for your support!