This is probably the luckiest young tawny owl alive!
He was brought to us as a downy chick with a severely deformed beak. The upper mandible was displaced to one side and he was unable to feed himself. The only reason he’d survived was that he was still being fed by his parents.
The outlook was grim. There was no way that he’d be able to survive in the wild so any release was out of the question.
As luck would have it, Neil Forbes – Britain’s foremost avian vet – was at Stonham Barns giving a course on raptor first aid and he agreed to look at “Captain Beaky” as he was now known.
Neil took him back to his practice in Stroud and fitted him with a ramp made of dental compound to force the beak into shape.
After a few weeks the ramp was removed and he was released in Gloucestershire three weeks later.
Our thanks to Neil for the photograph (there would have been more but he forgot to put film in the camera!)
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