Connecting you with nature
Last week I had an incredible experience at Back to the Wild (BTTW) in Castalia, Ohio (https://www.facebook.com/BacktothewildOhio/), where I completed a 40 hour field work requirement for my wildlife rehabilitation certificate. Often, this time of year is slow for rehabilitators. Migrations are over and nesting, or "baby" season is also over. Up north, many species are hunkered down and just trying to get through winter. However, I not only witnessed and participated in BTTW's first snowy owl release in about 15 years, but another injured snowy owl was admitted to the center last week. BTTW had a highly successful release of its snowy, with a crowd of over 100, on a picture perfect (and just a little chilly at zero degrees windchill!) winter day. Every step in this release, from identifying and securing a release site, to informing the press and public, preparing the snowy owl for safe transport to the release site, and educating those in attendance about snowy owls and the work of wildlife rehabilitators went beautifully. These spectacular raptors are like heaven touching earth, so it was such an honor for me to see one safely released back to the wild. Snowy owls are typically found in the high Artic tundra. However, in some winters they make their way to Northern US states that border Canada (http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/snowy-owl). Some have been reported even further south. Here's a couple links to press or other coverage of this release (http://www.sanduskyregister.com/story/201801180013; http://www.outdoornews.com/2018/01/18/back-wild-snowy-owls-journey/). Many images were taken this day; here's one from me that I particularly love which shows the snowy with us humans for the last time (we hope).