Originally featured in Points West magazine in Summer 2016
Amelia, the short-eared owl
The Draper Museum Raptor Experience recently added a short-eared owl to its ranks. Short-eared owls prey mainly on rodents and small birds in grasslands and open shrublands through much of North America. The Raptor Experience’s new bird, a female, weighs in at about 400 grams—about 14 ounces. Named Amelia after famed aviator Amelia Earhart, she came to the Center from Ironside Bird Rescue in Cody. As with all of the Raptor Experience’s birds of prey, Amelia has suffered injuries causing permanent loss of flight abilities.
In October 2015, the owl caught her left wing in a barbed-wire fence near the Antelope Coal Mine outside of Gillette in northeastern Wyoming. She sustained a serious cut on the wing, along with a severely damaged tendon. The sutured cut never properly healed, and Amelia’s lower wing required amputation.
A growing program of the Center’s Draper Natural History Museum, the Raptor Experience provides proper care and a life-long home to these amazing birds, and educates and awes large audiences with daily presentations and appearances. The program is funded in part by the Nancy-Carroll Draper Foundation, the W.H. Donner Foundation, and the Donner Canadian Foundation—the latter in partnership with the University of Wyoming’s Biodiversity Institute.
Amelia, the short-eared owl. Draper Museum Raptor Experience.