HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- The Carolina Raptor Center is diving in to their busiest season of the year-- orphan season. The first orphaned raptor of the season, a great horned owl chick, was admitted to the Raptor Center on Saturday.

A woman found the owl chick in Hiddenite, North Carolina, and contacted the Raptor Center.

The bird has a broken right wing that experts say should heal normally as the chick grows.

(Click here to view images of the owl chick)

Orphan season's busiest months are between April and June, when on average, the Carolina Raptor Center will take in more than 175 orphaned chicks.

Under staff and volunteer care, the birds are puppet-fed six times each day as they quickly grow and mature. Approximately 70-percent of those orphans will be released back into the wild, where they'll grow to full size in eight to 12 weeks.

The Carolina Raptor Center has launched a donation campaign in hopes of raising enough funds to feed this year's crop of orphans. Donations made to the $9,600 project will be matched one-to-one by Wells Fargo. As of Monday, March 18, the Raptor Center is 34-percent of the way to its goal.

If you're interested in donating, visit

Read or Share this story: