The Owl Research Institute has a new resident, and we hope he will stick around!
Meet Wesley - a beautiful young Barn Owl who was rescued and raised by Beth Benjamin Watne, Director of Montana Wild Wings Recovery Center, after someone dropped the owlet at her facility in Columbia Falls, Montana, and drove away. She doesn't have any information about how the owlet came to be in this situation, she just knew he wouldn't survive without her help. A very young, fuzzy owlet at the time, Beth has nurtured the Barn Owl until he was ready for his release into the wild.
The Owl Research Institute has a large barn and lots of surrounding habitat that make this location a good choice for his entry into the wild. After banding the Barn Owl and collecting data, Beth and Denver took him to the barn loft and set him free. We decided to keep the barn doors closed for the first night in order for him to get acclimated to his surroundings. Denver put out a couple small weasels and tonight (his second night in the barn) we will open the doors so he can fly out.
We are all hoping this young Barn Owl, who Beth has expertly nurtured, will take a liking to his new home and stick around, using the barn as a day time roosting area. We have some concerns about Great Horned Owls in the area but hope he will stay safe and healthy.
This young Barn Owl will be learning a lot in a short time. He will be refining his flight skills and learning to hunt in the wild. The Owl Research Institute will check on, and monitor him from a distance, but Wesley is a wild owl now. Come on, Wesley - we are rooting for you!! :)
Special thanks to Beth Benjamin Watne of Montana Wild Wings Recovery Center in Columbia Falls, MT.