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of McGough Nature Park

Eleanor was found on a golf course with her eye severely damaged. It is not known for sure how she received her injury, although it is possible that she was either struck by a golf ball or attacked by another large bird of prey. The name Eleanor was chosen by way of a naming contest set up for the public to vote on a name. She shares her home with Franklin, our male great horned owl, here at the park. Because her injuries leave her unable to survive on her own in the wild, she will remain at McGough Nature Park to help connect the public with these extraordinary animals.

Franklin was found in an abandoned field with a severely injured wing. It is believed that he received this injury after being attacked by a large bird of prey, such as an eagle. As seen in the x-ray, steel rods have been set in place to help support the injured wing. This owl is no longer able to survive on his own in the wild, so he is kept here at McGough Nature Park to help teach the public about these beautiful birds. A poll was set up for the public to help name this owl. The name Franklin was chosen in honor of Franklin Arthur, a longtime volunteer at the nature park. The enclosure for the Great Horned Owls was sponsored by the Clearwater Audubon Society.

Matilda was abandoned on the door step of Audubon bird of prey specialist, Barb Walker. Matilda had a fracture to her humerus bone (upper wing bone) that did not heal properly, preventing Matilda from being able to fly. Matilda was brought to her new home at Largo's McGough Nature Park. Her cage is located outside the back of the nature center and can be viewed whenever the park is open. Matilda is available for Wild Birthday Parties at George C McGough and Bonner Nature Parks.
Shay, our female Red-shouldered Hawk, is an injured bird brought to us from the Clearwater Audubon Society in September of 2012. The bird was found near Tarpon Springs with a severe injury to the tip of her right wing. The bone had been shattered so badly that the tip of the wing had to be surgically removed. This injury prevents the hawk from flying evenly and from gaining much elevation in flight. This prevents her from effectively hunting and evading predation in the wild.

Samson came to us in June of 2013 after he was treated by veterinarians at Busch Gardens for an injury to his right wing. The wing had been damaged badly enough that it prevented him from being able to fly well enough to survive on his own in the wild. Samson now lives at our park and shares his enclosure with other permanently injured screech owls. It is not uncommon to see these owls huddled closely together - they are known to be one of the more social owl species.


Goliath is a full-sized adult owl that came to us after being found in the engine compartment of a car that had traveled from Clearwater to Palm Harbor. She suffered a permanent wing droop resulting from this incident. This break to the wing prevents her from being able to fly. The distribution of Eastern Screech-Owls can be seen in the map below. These owls feed on chicks, small mice, frogs, lizards, and insects. Weight of an Eastern Screech Owl ranges from 4.3-8.6 oz and the wingspan ranges from 19-24 in.