Great Horned Owl Saved By Wild At Heart


On July 27, 2009 the staff at Capital Insight Partners, LLC discovered a Great Horned Owl outside their window.  The poor thing laid next to the building with her right wing stuck out in an abnormal position.  She was dazed and in shock.  Thanks to the quick response of Wild at Heart, Ariel is still alive today.  Within thirty minutes of receiving the call, a volunteer came to pick her up.  This great non-profit organization specializes in the treatment of raptors.  Every year they care for between 400 and 600 hawks, owls and falcons.  Back at the Wild at Heart hospital, Ariel received treatment for her injuries.  X-rays revealed a fractured humerus, the biggest bone in the wing.  She required surgery and extensive post-op care to save her wing.  Note the bright yellow bandage that protects the bone as it heals.      


Today, Ariel is living in an outdoor flight cage with other owls.  She enjoys being out of the hospital and interacting with them.  The large space gives her more room to move her wings and build strength.  Because of the severity of her injury, it is doubtful that Ariel will fly again.  But miracles do happen.  Please keep your fingers crossed for this lovely owl.

I want to thank ‘Sam’ and Bob Fox, the veterinarians and volunteers at Wild at Heart.  Besides helping injured birds in need, this organization has many different programs aimed at protecting raptors.  The Burrowing Owl Project provides habit for these long legged little owls.  So far, over 4,500 artificial owl burrows have been set up statewide.  The Foster Parent Program pairs unreleasable adult raptors with orphans.  It is a win-win for everyone involved.  The orphans are cared for by members of their own species.  This makes them more successful when released back into the wild.  Caring for the chicks allows the adults to experience a more normal life, even in captivity.  Who knows, maybe Ariel will be a foster mom some day.

To learn more about this fabulous organization please go to  The web site gives additional information about the organization including the Barn Owl Recovery Program and the Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy Owl Breeding Project.  Wild at Heart depends on donations for their operation.  They receive no state or federal funds.  So if you enjoy watching a hawk soar across the sky in search of dinner or the hoots of an owl at night, please consider making a donation to this great organization.  They stretch a dollar a long way.  If your plans bring you to Phoenix Arizona, schedule a visit.  I guarantee the birds and the people who care for them will inspire you.  It will be an experience you will never forget! 

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.