Stock image of burrowing owl. Not the owl that was mentioned in this article.

Burrowing owl attacked by crows

By Joanna Fitzgerald | Director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital

A burrowing owl was among the 53 animals admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida last week. Other admissions include a black skimmer, a Cooper’s hawk, a great egret and eight gray squirrels.

The burrowing owl was brought in from Isles of Capri after it was seen being attacked by crows. The owl was dazed when it arrived at the von Arx Wildlife Hospital, but it had no obvious wounds or external injuries.

The owl received an anti-inflammatory and electrolytes and was placed in an animal intensive care unit to rest. Food and water were provided as well.

The following day, the owl was much more alert and responsive. The owl was moved from the intensive care area of the hospital to the bird room. Staff administered oral electrolytes, the anti-inflammatory medication and offered a fresh diet in the hope that the owl would eat on its own.

When staff checked on the owl a few hours later we were pleased to see the owl had eaten its mouse and was alert and vocalizing — all good signs that the treatment plan was meeting the owl’s needs. The owl has been moved to a flight space within the hospital and will soon be evaluated for release.

Recent Releases — 20 Animals Returned Home

  • 1 chimney swift
  • 1 eastern cottontail
  • 1 mourning dove
  • 1 blue jay
  • 1 eastern screech owl
  • 1 Florida red-bellied turtle
  • 1 Virginia opossum
  • 1 burrowing owl
  • 1 red-bellied woodpecker
  • 1 peninsula cooter
  • 1 gopher tortoise
  • 9 northern mockingbirds

Opportunities to Help

Please visit the Conservancy website at to view all of the amazing volunteer opportunities at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Volunteers are needed more than ever during our incredibly busy summer season. Your volunteer time, memberships and donations are vital in helping us continue our work to protect Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife and future.

Joanna Fitzgerald is director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Call 239–262–2273 or see

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