Sunday, February 5, 2012

Watching an owl released to freedom...

A large female great horned owl was hit by a Mack truck on December 31 on Rt. 151 in Falmouth but lived to tell the tale. She was pretty banged up but with the help of the Falmouth Animal Control Officer and Cape Wildlife Center she has been nursed back to health.

Over the last few years the Cape Wildlife Center has teamed up with the Mass Audubon Long Pasture Sanctuary to have a few public releases along with informative natural history programs and each release and program attracts more and more people.

Yesterday Ian Ives of the Long Pasture Sanctuary gave a talk and slide show at the Falmouth Library to a house that was so packed some people got stuck listening to it out in the hall. After the program we drove over to the Ashumet Holly Reservation to watch the owl get released.
The almost full moon had risen above the trees as the van arrived and Dr. Bob carried the container that had the owl in it. By keeping the owl confined in a small, dark space she was able to remain calm and not injure herself by flapping around.
We were asked to stand back and give the owl room and we were also told that the owl could be unpredictable when let out of the box...
Everyone's eyes were on the blue box (in the center) to see what would happen when the box was opened...
She may have been in confinement for a month and a half but this lady knew just what to do....fly away! That's her in the center of the photo....
We were told she might land in a tree to assess her situation and her surroundings but she chose the roof of the house in the distance...
At first she kept her back turned to us but then...
she turned to look at all of us as we all looked at her....
As we left, under the light of the rising moon, my little grandsons skipped along singing, "We saw an owl, we saw an owl...." and I think the rest of us sort of felt the same way. Not only that, we saw an owl that had been rescued and released and her release helped educate people about both wild birds and animals but the efforts if takes to rehabilitate and care for them as well.

2 comments:

  1. That must have been such a cool thing to experience! I bet your grandsons will remember that forever.

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