HomeOutdoorsNewsSnowy Owl Rescued In Kansas to Be Released In Cooler Climate

Snowy Owl Rescued In Kansas to Be Released In Cooler Climate

by Brett Stayton
Snowy Owl Takes Flight
Photo by fireman 23/Getty Images

Rock Chalk Jayhawk? More like Rock Chalk Snowy Owl, am I right? Ok, that doesn’t rhyme or make sense, but it’s March Madness so it doesn’t have to. Anyways. An injured snowy owl was rescued in western Kansas over two months ago. Now the bird has recovered enough that the bird is just about ready to be released back into the wild. But first, it will be transported to a cooler climate for the final steps of its rehabilitation before flying free again. KAKE News has the story.

The owl was rescued by a game warden back in January. That was a whole ordeal of its own. The warden had to crawl under some sharp barbed wire and chase down the uncooperative and frightened bird before corralling it. The emaciated and dehydrated owl was initially treated at Carrie’s Rehab Critters and then later transferred to Operation Wildlife in Linwood, Kansas.

The bird had apparently been shot at some point and had a lead pellet lodged in its wing. Tests also confirmed the bird had low levels of avian red blood cells and white blood cells. Snowy owls are rare in Kansas. Their range is typically north up into Canada and the Arctic Circle, but “occasionally, they will have an irruptive migration, coming down south in large numbers,” according to the Kansas Wetland Education Center.

Plan Was Always To Release The Bird Further North Than Kansas

Though Operation Wildlife is aiding with the bird’s recovery and release efforts, the plan was to always release the bird in a different state. “These are Arctic birds so releasing him in Kansas is not feasible,” the organization said. In a video post on their Facebook page, Operation Wildlife said the owl will be on a flight up to Minnesota soon for the next steps of the process.

“He’s being sent to The Raptor Center for final conditioning and release. The red tape to get him into Canada was unreal but he can fly via his own power across that international line. It has been an honor and privilege to work with this bird,” a statement from the center continued.

Roughly 2,000 was donated by nice people to help cover the cost of the owl’s food, medications, veterinary care, airline flight, and other needs.

Injured Owl Rescued Amid North Dakota’s Intense Winter Storms

Though not a snowy owl, another owl was recently rescued in the middle of a snowstorm up in North Dakota. Responding to a call on the morning of March 15, a police officer arrived at a north Fargo residence. There, she found a large great horned owl with a broken wing. The officer waded through waist-high snow amid single-digit temperatures to rescue the bird. The bird was then transferred to the Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton, which is the closest permitted raptor rehabilitator to Fargo. There, the bird will receive veterinary care for its broken wing. The goal is to release it back into the wild when ready.