Release Training Updates

The spring owls have flown the coop. We look forward to our fall release season when juvenile owls will begin training.

This year we were lucky to continue releasing home hatched Snowy Owls to Churchill, Manitoba. The birds were shipped to Winnipeg and then hopped a flight on Calm Air to Churchill, MB. A big thank you to Calm Air for again providing free cargo space for our Snowy Owls. We also shipped one rehabilitated Snowy Owl to northern Ontario for release near Moosonee so he might continue his journey northward into breeding territory.

Also of interest to some of our readers may be the release of a Short-eared Owl in fall of 2007 in Saskatchewan. Mr. Marcel Gahbauer of The Migration Research Foundation secured funding for a satellite transmitter to aid in his study of seasonal Short-eared Owl movements. The Transmitter was affixed to the owl with a neoprene harness (the same stuff wet suits are made of). The transmitter was tested for signal strength at The Owl Foundation while the bird built stamina, muscle and hunting techniques. She was released back to the wild by Marcel himself and monitoring of her movements continues. To watch her movements, visit Marcel's website.


In 2008 so far, we have released:
7 Barred Owls
13 Eastern Screech Owls
4 Great Grey Owls
1 Great Horned Owl

Total 51
3 Long-eared Owls
6 Northern Hawk Owls (Gogama area, ON)
12 Northern Saw-whet Owls
5 Snowy Owls


2007 Release Numbers

2006 Release Numbers

2005 Release Numbers

2005-2007 Release Number Comparison

Release Archive
including 2002-2004

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Releasing an Eastern Screech Owl

Depending on species life histories, owls are either freed where they were first recovered, or transported to suitable habitats (Snowy Owls). When ready, northern owls are shipped by air for release by knowledgeable volunteers. Captive bred juveniles will be released where a parent was recovered. Each bird is banded with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife metal band.

We are grateful to all of the individuals who have aided in returning these wonderful animals to their natural environments.

Release training teaches hunting techniques, boosts stamina and tones muscles. Owls learn to use their senses (particularly sight and hearing) to locate and capture live prey on their own in special training units. White and brown mice, rats and quail are utilized to accomplish this. Birds are released only when we are confident that they are mentally and physically ready to support themselves in the wild.


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