Feathers can be very delicate things and, once damaged, they can make it impossible for a bird to fly.
This little owl arrived at the centre with a severe damage to the primary feathers on both wings. Although new feathers would grow during the next moult, this process is slow and the bird would most likely injure itself from captivity-related stress during that time.
In order to release the bird back into the wild as soon as possible, our veterinary team had to give the owl a brand new wing! The damaged feathers were removed and replaced with feathers from a ‘donor wing’ in a process known as ‘imping’.
Luckily for this owl, the operation was a complete success and it wasn’t long before it could return to the wild once more!
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