TOF Releases

The Owl Foundation is the only facility of its kind in North America to both breed and foster wild owls to release status. Most owls are released in spring or autumn as these seasons are natural dispersal and migration times for birds.

Rehabilitation cases are usually released as close as possible to where they were originally recovered. This is most important for adults, who had a territory and possible mate at their found location. Sadly, when an owl requires a lengthy stay at any facility, its territory lies vacant and therefore available to other wild individuals. For juvenile and sub-adult owls, release into the original location is not quite as important. This is because most owl species have a dispersal range (sometimes of several hundred kilometres) from the parental territory. In this case, it is more important to provide them with suitable, stable habitats where they can continue to hone their hunting skills as they begin to move on. Where the site of original recovery is of high risk to the individual (e.g. 400-series highway), a safe, suitable release site is found in the greater area.

Captive bred owls are raised with their parents in wild-type environments with minimal human contact. These birds are wild in nature and begin establishing their hunting skills as fledglings. When dispersal time arrives (usually September), the juveniles are moved to release training cages where they begin live prey training in earnest.

Captive bred owls are usually released where the mother originated in order to introduce what were naturally occuring genes back into the region of origin. Juveniles can then disperse as they would have naturally. Snowy Owls and Northern Hawk Owls show nomadic behaviour outside breeding season. Northern Saw-whets are migratory. Great Greys will display nomadic-type behaviour when prey numbers are low. Release methods differ for these species as a result and are modified to provide the highest potential for success into the wild.

2005-2007 Comparison
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2007 Release Numbers

2006 Release Numbers

2005 Release Numbers

2005-2007 Release Number Comparison

Release Archive
including 2002-2004

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