Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I found blood on the floor of Alice's room two days ago.  That's nothing unusual given that she often drags her food around, but this was fresh drops of blood under her perch and going over to her water bowl.  The blood had to be Alice's.

She wasn't bleeding or looking anything other than normal, and I couldn't see any blood on her.  When I came back into the room to look again, I noticed blood not just on the floor, but spots on three walls and on the ceiling!  It had to be coming from her wing.

She's got several feathers growing in now, and the developing shafts are full of blood.  I presume she must have damaged one of the developing feathers and that's where the blood came from.  Thankfully it stopped bleeding on its own!

Yesterday when I took her to work I could see dried, smeared blood on her primary feathers on her bad wing, so that confirmed my suspicions that it was a damaged blood feather.  But no more blood, thank goodness!


  1. Thank goodness is right! Glad the fright was so short-lived.

  2. I would like to ask you about Alice's molting. Does she molt when other GHO's do? Or because she lives inside a lot, does change that process. Thank you for your time, again, love the blog!

  3. Very good question about the molting. I think it's always been presumed that if an owl is indoors or exposed to other-than-normal day and night light patterns their molt is messed up. But Alice's molt seems to match Rusty and Iris' molt fairly close, and they are housed outdoors. Hard to say how it compares to a wild owl, since you mostly can only infer things from study skins for them, not exact dates of feather drops like captive owls. I think there is a ton we don't know about the molt.

  4. I will be sad when 'my' owl stops losing feathers. Not sure if it is an actual molt, but there are the occasional feathers in the yard. I love it when I find the big fluffy brown downy feathers, I am assuming they are from the juvenile owl/owls, although I have never seen them.
    M Russell