Our Birds: Thomson

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A.K.A.: Mr. T, Tom-Tom

Species: Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa)

Sex: Male (We think!)

Hatched: Unknown

Arrived: 2017

Condition: Wing injury (presumed hit by car)

His Story

Thomson was found in the driveway of a rural home south of Barrie in the late winter of 2017. He was behaving strangely and not flying. After watching him for a while and seeing that his condition didn't change, the homeowner took him to Procyon Wildlife where x-rays revealed that he had a severely damaged shoulder.

We imagine that Thomson fell into the same trap that many raptors do - hunting by the roadside for rodents attracted to garbage in the ditch - and was hit by a car. His rehabilitators treated his injury, but although it healed, he just can't fly well enough to survive in the wild.

Thomson joined the Wild Ontario team in the spring of 2017, and is currently in training for our education programs. He will provide a rare opportunity for southern Ontario residents to see this beautiful northern species, and be a valuable ambassador for wildlife affected by roads across our province.

Species Information: Great Gray Owl

Range: Across much of northern Canada and the northwestern USA. In Ontario, central and northern forests.

Habitat: Dense, wet forests. Often hunt in meadows, bogs or other forest clearings.

Diet: Almost exclusively small mammals, especially voles and mice.

Fun Fact: Is the largest species of owl in the world by length - up to almost a metre from tip to tail!

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