If at first you don't succeed...

As usual, amidst the excitement of new aviaries being built, floods, snow-storms and getting the display birds back to fitness, the important work of raptor conservation continues at SOS. 

At the moment, thankfully, the hospital is relatively quiet, with the exception of a tawny owl that arrived on the SOS doorstep back on the 8
th December 2008.   

As with many of the birds of prey who come to us here at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, this tawny owl was in a pretty poor condition.  Apart from being in a state of distress, he was also very dehydrated which, in a bird of prey, can be as devastating as starvation.  Our first priority was to get some fluids back into the poor little fellow via a process known as ‘crop tubing’.  This enables important fluids to be introduced from the throat directly to the stomach.  It can look a little bit uncomfortable, but it’s the most effective way of ensuring that these essential fluids, including glucose and vitamins, are released into the bird’s system.  It is an absolutely vital element to aid the process of recovery.


Once the tawny owl was in a fit state to be properly examined, the falconers were able to assess any damage more clearly.  It was obvious that the owl had an injured toe and, on closer inspection, it was agreed that the best option was to amputate it. 

Once again, as on so many occasions, the team at Stowe Vets were called in and with their help and expertise, the amputation went smoothly and we hoped that the tawny owl was now well on the road to recovery. 

Ah, well, best laid plans…


On the morning of Friday 20th February 2009 (which just goes to show how long it can take to rehabilitate an injured bird of prey) one of the falconers discovered that the tawny had an infection in the foot which had had the toe amputated.  So on Friday afternoon, we waved Dean back off to Stowe Vets again and… 

Well, as soon as we know the outcome, you will too! 

For the moment, life at SOS trundles on.