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Old Jan 21, 2012, 11:14 PM   #1
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Default Raptor Rehab

For the first time today, I had a chance to share in a really special moment for anyone who's interested in conservation... the release of an injured bird of prey back into the wild. Today's lucky bird was a barred owl who had collided with a car four months ago, suffering a head injury. Today was his moment in the sun, or at least, in the cold, gray winter air. For some reason, he was reluctant to leave his warm carrier and the rehab specialist had to tilt the carrier a little bit before he burst out.
1.


Once free from the cage, he didn't exactly rise majestically into the air. He flew about ten yards and sat down to think about the situation.
2.


Some irritating crows made him decide to try another spot; I don't think it was a particularly smart choice for a bird rehabbing from a problem with a car.
3.


The rehabber wouldn't let him stay in the parking lot, so he took off and finally found a place he was comfortable hiding with his natural camouflage.
4.

5.


Before the release, we were treated to introductions to some other birds that were not candidates for release, including a barn owl and a red-tailed hawk.
6.

7.

8.


All photos with the K-5 with the Sigma 50-500 Bigma. AV mode with ISO's from 3200-5000.

Paul
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Old Jan 22, 2012, 12:33 AM   #2
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Wonderful to see that release. Owls are my favourite birds and you have some lovely shots there too Paul.
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Old Jan 22, 2012, 7:52 AM   #3
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Very nice Paul, I really like #4. I have never shot an owl and one in flight would be exciting for me.

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Old Jan 22, 2012, 4:01 PM   #4
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Hmmm, reminds me we should start watching for our annual owl we seem to get in January in the yard. He's only here for a few weeks, then disappears. Sometimes we never see him, but can hear him.

Nice shots of these. Hopefully they get to be released soon like the other guy.

Patty
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Old Jan 22, 2012, 6:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhmom View Post
Hmmm, reminds me we should start watching for our annual owl we seem to get in January in the yard. He's only here for a few weeks, then disappears. Sometimes we never see him, but can hear him.

Nice shots of these. Hopefully they get to be released soon like the other guy.

Patty
Unfortunately, Patty.... neither of the other birds will ever be released. The barn owl is what is called a "hard imprint." She was raised by humans and could never survive in the wild. The red-tailed hawk had a wing injury that means it will never fly again. Both birds are licensed to the rehabber for educational purposes, only. They try to limit human contact with birds that have a chance to be released.
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Old Jan 22, 2012, 6:55 PM   #6
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How interesting! There's at least one owl that hangs out around our subdivision - I've seen him/her once (at night, when I couldn't manage a picture) but often hear it/them. I, too, find them fascinating. It's much easier to find/watch red-tailed hawks. They are common, though I usually only see them soaring high overhead, too far for photos, or else hanging out beside some freeway/road that I'm driving on. So no pictures of them, either.
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Old Jan 22, 2012, 9:25 PM   #7
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Great shots Paul. My favorites are the owl in flight, and the owl perched behind the dry oak leaves. It's great that the owl recovered to the point that it could be released. All too often these injured birds must live in captivity for the rest of their lives.
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Old Jan 23, 2012, 8:36 PM   #8
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Nice to see a successful raptor rehab! And nice to see some of your great photos again!

(PS - We have a screech owl that will soon be released, but if you are ever up this way, will be glad to let you visit & photograph our non-releasable birds)
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 10:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mole View Post
(PS - We have a screech owl that will soon be released, but if you are ever up this way, will be glad to let you visit & photograph our non-releasable birds)
I keep threatening to show up at my niece's door in Johnson City....LOL.

I'm scheduled to go to a screech owl release (same rehabber) this weekend as a part of a weekend of raptor programs at a state park. I'm trying to get a bunch of my students to go....trying to get them to see just how beautiful these birds are and inspire them to enjoy photographing them or even taking a more active role in their conservation
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