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Wild at Heart Releases Burrowing Owls at San Bernardino NWR Headquarters
Southwest Region, May 19, 2007
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Volunteers constructing the frame work for one of the release tents.  Photo taken by Catherine Lohrengel on 5/19/2007 at San Bernardino NWR Headquarters, Cochise County, AZ.
Volunteers constructing the frame work for one of the release tents. Photo taken by Catherine Lohrengel on 5/19/2007 at San Bernardino NWR Headquarters, Cochise County, AZ. - Photo Credit: n/a
A burrowing owl poses for the camera.  Photo taken by Catherine Lohrengel on 5/19/2007 at San Bernardino NWR Headquarters, Cochise County, AZ.
A burrowing owl poses for the camera. Photo taken by Catherine Lohrengel on 5/19/2007 at San Bernardino NWR Headquarters, Cochise County, AZ. - Photo Credit: n/a
Mark Paulat, of Wild at Heart, talks to the volunteers about the owls.  Photo taken by Greg Clark from Wild at Heart on 5/19/2007 at San Bernardino NWR Headquarters, Cochise County, AZ.
Mark Paulat, of Wild at Heart, talks to the volunteers about the owls. Photo taken by Greg Clark from Wild at Heart on 5/19/2007 at San Bernardino NWR Headquarters, Cochise County, AZ. - Photo Credit: n/a

 

Wild at Heart a raptor rescue and rehabilitation organization located in Cave Creek, Arizona has been rescuing and relocating burrowing owls from areas of development in Arizona over the past several years and after refuge staff saw an article on their work in a local paper, decided to get involved.  Greg Clark from Wild at Heart visited the refuge headquarters and determined that the giant sacaton grassland that surrounds the refuge headquarters is ideal for the owls.  On May 12 and 13 refuge staff and volunteers and people from Wild at Heart installed the first four release sites.  The release sites consist of eight release burrows and two sets of four expansion burrows.  There are three more sites planned for the headquarters, which would bring the total number of burrows to 112.  On May 19th the temporary flight pens, or tents, were constructed by refuge staff and volunteers and some of the people from Wild at Heart over two sets of the release burrows.  Once the tents were completed the owls were placed in the tents to explore their new homes.  The tents allow the owls to become accustomed to there new environment and hopefully build site fidelity.  A total of thirteen owls were released in this initial release, with more to follow this summer.  The thirteen owls might be a low estimate, though.  It is believed that three of the females that were released were carrying eggs.  Hopefully we will have several new owlets in a month when the tents come down.


Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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