So a while back I did a blog post on a barred owl, Keep Your Shirt On. Well over the weekend we were excited to release the owl back to where he was found.
When my co-worker and I arrived at the finders’ house, we knocked on the door and a pig squealed. Looking through the glass we could see a miniature pig squealing and wagging his tail! The finders told us that he was a house pet and that he even slept in the bed with them. That was it, at that moment I really wanted a pig…I just don’t have a place to put a pig.
The finders were super excited that I was willing to drive 40 minutes to their house to release the barred owl back to his home. The finders excitedly took us out back and showed us a field with pine trees.
“Will this do okay?” The husband asked.
Looking at the field and trees I looked to see how many houses were in the area, there wasn’t very many, “It’s perfect.”
I situate the cat carrier so the barred owl was facing the field so that he had room to fly out before having to navigate around trees. Then I look at the finders, “The honor is all yours!”
The wife immediately spoke up, “You can do it, honey.”
I showed the husband how to open the cat carrier without being in the owl’s way. Then on the count of three, he opened the carrier. Without hesitation, the owl was out of the carrier before the door was already open. He flew a short distance and landed on one of the first trees in the clearing and started checking out his surroundings. The finder said that they have seen a barred owl in that same tree before, I told them that it was likely the same owl that we were watching at that very moment.
It was a perfect release, the owl flew beautifully and we released him back home. Barred owls don’t usually migrate and they spend their whole life in the same square mile they were born in, so we like to release them back home.
Here’s a link to the video I took showing the owl release in both normal speed and slow motion. The lighting wasn’t that great, but you have to release owls at night because they are nocturnal.