Injured barn owl can fly again


Injured barn owl with her wing with prosthesis, photo by L1/Julian Buijzen

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Limburg burned barn owl can fly again with prosthesis

14 September 2016, 23:48

A barn owl which was burned seriously this spring can fly again from today on thanks to a prosthesis.

In April there was a pigsty on fire at Lilbosch Abbey in the Limburg town Echt. The pigs in the barn survived the fire, but a family of barn owls was less fortunate. The chicks died and mother barn owl was seriously injured. The male was unharmed.

Prostheses

The female was taken to a bird rescue center in Belgium. She had damaged lungs, burned legs and the plumage was badly damaged by the flames.

In recent months, the bird was patched up. A part of the feathers were pulled out, so that they were able to grow anew. But pieces of the wings were so badly damaged that it appeared that the owl would never be able to fly again. However, the shelter found a solution: prosthetics.

To the wings parts of wings of a dead owl were attached. When these had become attached firmly it turned out that the female could fly well with them.

Abbey nest

The male meanwhile was hanging around all the time at the abbey. Today the female was brought back there.

The couple has been given a brand new nest box, once again high on the wall of the barn.

Barn owls are cavity-nesting birds of prey but they do not create their own nest holes. Instead, they frequently use cavities from other birds or hollow trees, and they readily move into open buildings or nest boxes. With the right barn owl box, it is possible to encourage barn owls to become permanent residents in your backyard or elsewhere on your larger property: here.

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