Tucson Wildlife Center caring for Great Horned Owl nestlings - Tucson News Now

Tucson Wildlife Center caring for Great Horned Owl nestlings

(Source: Tucson Wildlife Center) (Source: Tucson Wildlife Center)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Four Great Horned Owl nestlings are being cared for by the Tucson Wildlife Center.

The TWC said the unusually high temperatures over the last couple of weeks caused parasites to hatch early and attack the nestlings, which forced them to bail out of their nests to escape.

"We have never seen this problem before," Bates said. "With normal March temperatures, we assume the owls are older by the time parasites hatch and have left the nest or are able to fend off the parasites themselves."

One of the owls cam from the Sabino Canyon area while the other three are from the northwest side.

One of the nestlings broke a leg in the fall but has already had surgery. All four are expected to be released back to the wild.

"Ideally, we try to return them to the place they came from so the parents can continue raising them," said Lou Rae Whitehead, Animal Care Supervisor at Tucson Wildlife Center. “"We typically don't get them when they are this young, but it is hotter earlier this year. If they are still white and fuzzy, they need to be re-nested."

The TWC said the owls will be treated for parasites, assessed for health before being returned to clean nests.

Anyone who finds an owl on the ground, should call Tucson Wildlife Center at 520-290-9453.

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