A bird or a cat? - For sure a predator!
A tawny owl was found in Kiskunlacháza by the road, crouching on the sidewalk. The finder - who we would like to thank again for getting this beautiful bird to us so quickly - called the staff of the Danube-Ipoly National Park, who informed us in turn. Our owl arrived soaked, weakened, and dizzy. It was ascertained promptly through detailed physical examination that we were facing an acute problem since we were holding a well-muscled bird in excellent condition in our hands. The pupils constricted adequately and symmetrically when exposed to light.
However, the mucous membranes were paler and more livid than physiological, which may have been caused by the consumption of a mouse/rat with rodenticide or peripheral circulatory problems due to shock. Thus, we also started a vitamin K therapy in addition to the acute shock treatment.
(Rodenticides containing dicumarol as an active ingredient cause coagulation disorders, which can be remedied and reversed by the timely administration of vitamin K)
The little owl got significantly better, although the dizziness remained for a couple of days. We fed it and hoped it would recover nicely and could be released later to nature. The tawny owl is a protected species with a conservation value of HUF 50 000.
Tawny owls have a very peculiar Hungarian name - CatOwls. Do you know why they are called catowls and what aspects we must consider when releasing them?
- These little night predators got their name from their voices. These owls give out a strong sound at dusk reminiscent of a cat meowing. It is preferable to release them in the evening, close to where they were found, since they are very territorial. They protect the place they choose for the rest of their lives. Failing to do so can cost their lives.