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Four owlet siblings admitted in four days

95 animals admitted this past week

Nine downy woodpeckers and four common barn owls were among the 95 animals admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida this past week. Other admissions include a striped mud turtle, two yellow-bellied sliders, a brown thrasher, a bald eagle, two gray catbirds and five opossums.

Barn owlets will be raised together

The common barn owls arrived at the hospital over a four day period. The first owlet fell from its roosting site in a barn at Naples Equestrian Challenge.

Staff preparing to feed barn owlet being treated at von Arx Wildlife Hospital.

The Big Red Box.

It means we need your help!

Collectively, these four barn owls are eating well over 50 mice a day , which costs a little more than $30 every day. Dr. PJ Deitschel, our staff veterinarian, says she expects them to be here for anywhere from 4–6 weeks and they will be eating more every week.

If you do the math, that means we’ll be spending up to $1,500 on mice justfor these four owlets before they’re released. That doesn’t even factor in staff time and other costs.

Please, consider making a donation to the wildlife hospital to help us feed these owlets and to help all of the animals inside.


And now… back to the blog.

The barn owls have nested at Naples Equestrian Challenge in the past, but this is the first year any needed our assistance.

When the first owlet arrived, we initially planned to re-nest the youngster since its three siblings were perched in the rafters. The barn area was occupied with the programs the Naples Equestrian Challenge offers so we coordinated our re-nesting efforts to accommodate their schedule.

Unfortunately, in the meantime two more owlets fell leaving only one owlet left in the rafters.

As the situation changed it was noted the adult barn owls had not been spotted for several days which was of great concern. After consistently monitoring the area with no sighting of the adult owls we decided to retrieve the last owlet.

The owlets varied greatly in size and, aside from being dehydrated, they were in good condition. Since re-nesting was not possible, these owlets will be raised at the Conservancy until they are grown and able to fend for themselves.

Thank you

Thanks to our volunteer Critter Courier Tim Thompson and Davey Tree Expert Company, along with the Naples Equestrian Challenge, for attempting to coordinate their work schedules when we first hoped re-nesting was an option.

Learn more about volunteering with the Conservancy.

Recent releases — 13 animals go home

  • 1 black and white warbler
  • 1 red-bellied woodpecker
  • 1 mottled duck
  • 2 northern cardinals
  • 1 Florida softshell turtle
  • 3 eastern cottontails
  • 4 opossums

Take Action

Please visit our website at and learn about the many opportunities there are to get involved. If you are unable to give of your time as a volunteer, become a member or donate. However you choose to become involved, your support will help the Conservancy continue to protect Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife and future.

Author Naples Therapeutic Riding Center

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