New Year's releases
Here at Portland Audubon, we celebrated the arrival of 2013 by sending rehabilitated birds back into the wild. On New Year's Eve, we released a Cooper’s Hawk and Screech Owl, and a Great Horned Owl was released New Year's Day. Thanks to all of you for your support – you are the reason these birds have home.
Here at Portland Audubon, we celebrated the arrival of 2013 by sending rehabilitated birds back into the wild. On New Year's Eve, we released a Cooper’s Hawk and Screech Owl (pictured to the right during its final exam), and a Great Horned Owl was released New Year's Day. Thanks to all of you for your support in the past year – you are the reason these birds have gone home.
The Cooper's Hawk had chased another bird into a warehouse in NE Portland and then couldn't get back out – a common occurrence with Cooper's Hawks. The young male eventually hit his head on a piece of machinery while flying and was brought to the care center for treatment. He had been federally banded earlier in 2012. Care center staffer Micah Meskel released the hawk across the river from West Hayden Island, near the warehouse where the bird was found. The youngster briefly perched on a telephone pole and then flew out of sight.
Just a few hours after the hawk was released, care center operations manager Lacy Campbell released a Screech Owl who had recently gone down in a residential yard, probably after sustaining head trauma. The little owl had a smooth road to recovery – it ate normally and flew well soon after arriving at the care center – and its release was just as successful. It flew right to a tree and perched on a branch, near the area where it had been found initially.
Of the three New Year's birds, the Great Horned Owl came to us in the worst condition. It was found off I-84 past Troutdale, probably after being hit by a car. It wasn't using its left leg and was characterized as "dull" by care center staff, which means the bird wasn't reacting to activity around it – not normal for a wild animal. It took a month for the owl to start perching and additional time for it to start flying and re-acclimate to the outdoors, but the bird did recover and was released by long-time care center volunteer Joe Chapman.