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MAD-EYE: great horned owl

Mad-Eye is a great horned owl

MAD-EYE: great horned owl

"Adopt" Mad-Eye!

Mad-Eye is a great horned owl. She was brought to the California Raptor Center in 2014 after being found on the side of a road in an agricultural area near Davis. The nature of her injuries strongly suggests she was hit by a car, an unfortunately common cause of injury and mortality in wild raptors, particularly owls that swoop low across roadways at night as they hunt. 

Examination revealed fractures in the bones of this owl's left shoulder girdle. The accident also caused lasting eye damage, leaving this bird with detached retinas, retinal scarring, and cataracts in both eyes. Though a one-eyed owl may be able to survive in the wild by using its excellent hearing to compensate for decreased vision, an owl with poor vision in both eyes would stand a low chance of survival and therefore is non-releasable. 

As a consequence of this bird's eye injuries, her left pupil always appears larger than her right pupil. This permanent pupil asymmetry immediately reminded volunteers of the character "Mad-Eye Moody" from the Harry Potter series, and though we now suspect Mad-Eye is female, the nickname stuck.