A couple of weeks ago ORC received a call from Carpinteria Fire Captain Brooks reporting they had rescued an owl that had been caught in some netting on a roof in downtown Carpinteria. When picked up from the fire house it was noticed that this owl already had a band on, making it very likely that it had previously been rehabilitated by ORC. As a federally licensed rehabilitation center we band hawks, owls, and falcons. This is part of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and USGS North American Bird Banding Program. This incredibly important program is used for researching behaviors and movements of raptors in North America and beyond.
Upon returning to the center where the owl was assessed for injuries, we pulled up its band number. We discovered that it had come to ORC in November of 2013, emaciated with a heavy parasite load. It was successfully rehabilitated and released in December of 2013. Its second time around, this large and healthy female Great Horned Owl stayed at ORC for the minimal amount of time to make sure there were no significant injuries from being caught in the net. It's nesting time so we wanted to get her back to the wild as soon as possible. Luckily, she was released a few blocks from where she was found after only a few days at ORC.
It's always a great reminder to come across previously banded birds who seem to be thriving in the wild. This owl was a great weight and had perfect feather condition. Hopefully she will have a successfull nesting season!
Thank you to Captain Brooks and the crew at Carpinteria Fire!!!
Below are a few pictures from her intake and release. ORC supervisor Jaclyn DeSantis can be seen with members of Carpinteria Fire at the release site. For release video, check out our Instagram!