Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Something happened yesterday that is new to IBR bird releases. My volunteer, Sara, and I took one of the GHOs I'd received from the retired rehabber in Gillette out the Northfork Hiway for release at an excellent habitat. I opened the crate door, the bird dashed off as you can see from the above photo. He didn't fly far and landed on the ground up the gravel road. Just to make sure all was okay we walked his direction so he took off again.
Here's where the strange part came in. He again landed up the road but this time it was in a tangle of small branches. It puzzled me so I decided to gather him up and did so after crawling under bushes to get to him.
He is now back here but in the large hawk flight barn. When I opened his crate he immediately took off and flew, with great strength and direction, to the highest wall perch. There was no hesitation or weakness, just a strong flight. At this point he'll be in there until I feel he's ready for another try at freedom.
UPDATE: Success the second time around. Sara and I drove north of Cody about 20 miles and re-released this owl. He took off and kept going and going. I have no idea why the first release didn't work but this time it went as it should have. The only difference is that it was ravens following him and not magpies. He easily got away from them so has now begun the rest of his life as a wild bird.