Blog Archive January 2007

Barrington Great Horned Owl Returned to the Wild

Posted on 25 January 2007 by Dawn Keller

We released a Great Horned Owl today after approximately 4 months in rehabilitation. We thought you would enjoy hearing about his fight for survival.

The Great Horned Owl was recovered by Becky, full-time wildlife rehabilitator for Flint Creek Wildlife, after we received numerous calls from concerned Barrington area residents and commuters who saw the owl on the side of Algonquin Road. It is infrequent that we get so many calls on one animal (approximately five different people called us within the span of 1/2 hour), but clearly he tugged at the heart strings of many people while standing on the shoulder of the busy road during morning rush hour.

As it turned out, the Great Horned Owl had probably been hit by a car several days prior, breaking his wing and rendering him unable to hunt for food. Near starvation, he came up to the shoulder of the road to try and eat road kill. It was then that he was sighted.

Once at Flint Creek Wildlife, we tube fed the starving bird every four hours around the clock for approximately two weeks before being able to advance him onto any solid food. For non-rehabilitators out there, feeding an emaciated animal solid food can actually kill it since the animal uses its last stores of energy in an attempt to digest the food. Instead, we offer small amounts of readily available calories frequently throughout the day and night until we can safely feed a more normal diet (this is one of the reasons that we instruct people who find an animal NOT to feed the animal).

Gradually, with intensive care, Algonquin (as we referred to him to help us differentiate from other Great Horned Owls in our care) regained his strength. His wing healed completely, he gained weight and he eventually made a complete recovery.

We moved Algonquin out to a flight chamber several weeks ago so that he could recondition his muscles and reacclimate to being outdoors. Today he was ready for release, hopefully still in time to find a mate and raise young this year.

Just before we released Algonquin he looked back at me, hating me as he always has and then he looked away. It was at that moment that he recognized how close freedom was. As I loosened my grip, he wasted no time flying off into the distant trees, free again.

Good luck, my friend.

Visit the Photo Gallery on our website to see more images of this amazing release.

Flint Creek Wildlife featured speaker at Citizens for Conservation Annual Meeting

Posted on 18 January 2007 by Dawn Keller

We are honored to be the featured speaker at the Citizens for Conservation 2007 Annual Meeting February 1, 2007. Citizens for Conservation is an outstanding organization dedicated to "Saving Living Space for Living Things". For information visit their website at or call 847-382-SAVE (7283).

Dawn Keller Named 2006 State of Illinois Environmental Hero

Posted on 10 January 2007 by Dawn Keller

On Thursday December 28, 2006, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn introduced the State's 2006 Environmental Heroes. Among the 24 reciepents was our Founder and Executive Director Dawn Keller. During the ceremony held at the State of Illinois Building in Chicago, Lieutenant Governor Quinn recognized and thanked Dawn for her hard work and dedication to injured and orphaned wildlife, as well for her work to establish Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation's satellite location in downtown Chicago where injured migrating birds receive immediate care. Congratulations Dawn on a well deserved honor.