Our Great-horned Owlets graduated from their rearing chamber to the conditioning flight! In the rearing chamber they had the security of a nest like situation and of course their foster dad owl was never far from them during the entire time they were growing up. Today will be a different thing. Dad will remain with them, however the conditioning flight is a large area where they can learn flight maneuvers, hunting and interact with other owls. Sights and sounds will be different too...an important link to the wild world to assist their transition to the wild.
The foster dad is the smallest of the owls. He has been with Raptor Education Group, Inc. since 2011 when he was admitted with an already healed wing fracture. He is unable to fly well enough to be released. The great news is he is a perfect dad and loves his work. Each year he raises owlets so they are wild and ready to take their place in the wild world. Staff has very little contact with the youngsters during this time therefore they are not imprinted to humans.
Some of the owlets were admitted as tiny nestlings, others were injured fledglings. One was a victim of the tornado the hit our area in July. Only two are natural siblings. All are now healed, flying and ready for the next step in their development.
It is an exciting day for them today! This is the last day they will be handled by people, unless a problem becomes evident, until they are released in late October which is when they would naturally leave their parents in the wild.