Rehabilitated Burrowing Owl Flying Free

/, Box Elder County, Burrowing Owls, Utah/Rehabilitated Burrowing Owl Flying Free

April releasing the rehabbed Burrowing OwlApril releasing the rehabbed Burrowing Owl – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 320, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 35mm, natural light

Two days ago I watched and photographed as April Olson who is a volunteer at Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah (WRNCU) release a rehabbed Burrowing Owl and it was very exciting for me because I’ve never been to a release before even though I have helped rescue several birds. April invited Ron and me to take part in the release of the male Burrowing Owl up in Box Elder County near the Promontory Mountain Range and I was delighted to be a part of this bird’s flight to freedom.

Some of the birds that I helped rescue while I lived in Florida didn’t make it, a few had only minor injuries or were tangled in fishing line and were released quickly. The Barn Owl I helped to rescue in Montana was rehabbed and released back into the Centennial Valley but there was only a few days notice of the release and it is a long haul up there from here.

This Burrowing Owl had sustained the same kind of wing injury as Galileo the Short-eared Owl I helped to rescue last year not far from where this owl was released but the extent of Galileo’s injury prevented him from being released. He is now an education bird at HawkWatch International here in Salt Lake City.

This little male Burrowing Owl was found injured on Antelope Island State Park and was rehabbed by the kind, compassionate and caring people at WRNCU. It takes special people to care for and rehabilitate birds and we are lucky to have the staff at WRNCU caring for the birds here in northern Utah.

The owl took a few seconds to come out of the carrier, flew past some rocks, over a gully and landed low on the ground where I couldn’t see him. His band number is 02514 and I hope that one day I can photograph him in the area again. In my photo he is in front of the rock to the left of April’s head. I hope he does well and adjusts to his new home before he heads south for the winter.

Thanks for inviting us to witness this Burrowing Owl being released and flying free April!

Life is good.


I’m still having some server issues which is why I only posted one photo of the release.


  1. Elephants Child July 24, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    WONDERFUL news. A huge thank you to rehabbers the world over.

  2. Anita Cothern Austin July 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    It’s nice to know there are Rehab Centers all over the country. There are several in my area of Florida. Nice to see the Owl leave happy and healthy!

  3. April Olson July 24, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Thank you for the nice write up about WRCNU. I am glad you were able to come and enjoy the release. He has a nice valley with few people, few roads, little barbed wire, and lots of fat grasshoppers. I wish him well.

  4. Patty Chadwick July 24, 2017 at 9:12 am

    WONDERFUL!!! Something happy for a wonderful change…(amazed I can comment…my iPad is pretty well screwed up)

  5. Liz Cormack July 24, 2017 at 5:40 am

    How wonderful to be part of the release. I hope it continues to do well.

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