The yearling snowy owl rescued from a Capitol Hill street and rehabilitated for a return to the wild was released in Volunteer Park Saturday morning and headed due west like a shot, a contingent of angry crows in mildly interested pursuit.
It required only a few weeks at Sarvey Wildlife Care Center for the young female owl to bulk up and heal some injuries before Saturday’s release in front of a crowd of onlookers on the Volunteer Park amphitheater green. The owl wasted little time once its cage was open. Assembled media scrambled to fire off a few shutter blasts as the big white bird made haste to the outer edges of the park and out of sight.
The center, licensed to rescue and care for wild animals like the snowy owl, said federal rules required the animal’s release within 10 miles of where it was found on November 12th along 11th Ave. The released bird won’t be tracked but the center’s representatives said they will be ready to return to the area should reports come in that the bird has again struggled to survive its winter home.
Young snowy owls regularly return to Washington and points south to winter during the harshest months of life in the Arctic. They are daytime hunters so be on the lookout. Those angry crows had better watch out, too.