One Great Horned Owl’s Lucky Break

Martin and Susan were called out to check on a Great Horned Owl in someone’s backyard. Upon arrival, Martin caught the injured owl and did a quick exam. The owl had a broken wing, but fortunately, one that could heal with a little time. After some time at our rescue center, this Owl was released back to the wild.

3 Hawks, 1 Owl and 23 Years!

September 29th is the 23rd Anniversary of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah. We were founded in 1997. To celebrate, we dug though the archives and found some old footage to share.

It’s old, very old, of much smaller frame size than usual.

Today’s tales include the releases of a Cooper’s Hawk, a Great Horned Owl and a Red Tail Hawk.

We’ll be sharing more bits from the archives all week.

Thank you for helping us help critters!

Barn Owl Demands His Freedom!

On June 29th a young Barn Owl arrived at the rescue center. The young one was skinny and lethargic.

After a first quick meal, the owl was put in a rehab chamber to begin gaining strength. This owl recovered well while mostly left alone.

Disturbed briefly on July 8th, the owl was moved to a bigger chamber to allow room for a new Cooper’s Hawk. The owl was very lively, and near ready for release.

On July 11th, this very feisty and vocal Barn Owl was released back to the wild where he belongs.

Barn Owl Gave a Good Fight

A Barn Owl arrived late afternoon on November 7th, 2019 from Utah DWR. We’d received calls about this owl throughout the day, and expected the arrival. Martin immediately examined the condition of the owl. After a first meal, the owl was taken to a small dark and mostly quiet chamber. It was near Belle the Harris Hawk’s outdoor chamber and she was not very quiet.

For two days, Martin checked on the owl frequently. The owl made it through the first night and was fed again the next day.

Despite showing some signs of recovery, when Martin checked on the owl early in the morning of November 9th, the owl had passed.

In Search of a Hawk and a Great Horned Owl

In early evening of July 28th, Martin received a call about an injured hawk or type of bird out at the wind farm in Milford. He quickly got on the road for a long trip out to desert area in search of the injured bird.

While searching, he received word of another injured bird in the area, a young great horned owl.

This video includes his searches and shares a sample of all the road and foot time he puts in with wildlife rescues.

Martin also shares some advice about keeping alert on rural roads and how to report an injured animal if you come across one.

Rescue of Great Horned Owl

Martin is called about an injured Great Horned Owl not too far from his house. Using two new cameras donated to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, he shared his trip out to find the owl.

Talking about the area and the wildife around him, Martin described his trip and explained the information he was given.

He succeeded in finding the owl, captures the bird in a net, then returns to the rehab facilities to examine the owl.

His initial diagnosis did not look good so he took the owl to the veterinarian to confirm.

Young and Skinny Great Horned Owl

Martin was called about this owl near the side of a road. It had been hit by a car and was unable to fly. Upon catching the owl, Martin noticed he was very thin.

Feeling nothing broken, Martin determined likely a concussion and soft tissue damage.

The owl stayed with us for about a month rehabbing and was released on October 16th.

Two Great Horned Owls Released!

Two Great Horned Owls were released back to the wild this past Father’s Day. Martin invited everyone out to C-Overlook and asked all Fathers to enter a draw to be the ones to release the Owls.

Martin’s Letter

Dear Friends of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation,
Next Sunday is Father’s Day and if there is one thing I’ve learned in my 62 years of life, being a father has very little to do with biology. The truth be known I have never met my father. He was a man who abandoned my mother, my brother, my sister and I when I was 2 years old.

It is my understanding that he ran off with his mistress and I have never seen his face or heard his voice. You may be asking yourself why, as father’s day approaches that I would be reflecting back on something so sad. The truth is, it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me because in my life I have had at least four fathers. Four amazing men who are responsible for making me the person that I am today.

 The greatest man I’ve ever met was my grandfather, a kind gentle soul who drove a laundry truck. My grandfather stepped up in my early years to fill the role as father. He gave me my morals, my integrity and my love for all living things. My grandfather gave me one piece of advice that I have lived by my entire life. “Get up every morning and do good.”

My second father was my stepfather. This man stepped up and took on the responsibility, some might even say a burden, marrying a single mother with three children. He was always kind, but most of all he loved my mother to the day he died.

My third father, was my Scout Master Mr. Clark. As a retired Marine survival instructor, he took on his role as Scout Master with a dedication that I’ve never seen before or after. Mr. Clark taught me most of the life skills that I use every day and for that I will always be grateful.

My fourth father was my mentor, Hubert Wells, a multi-generational Hungarian falconer who took me under his wing and taught me to fly birds. His patience, guidance and encouragement has set me on a path that has become my life’s work.

As you can see in my life, fatherhood has had nothing to do with biology. A father is a person with strength, integrity, honesty and a willingness to help a young boy grow into a man. As Father’s Day approaches I have been thinking about what I could do in my own way, not only to honor my fathers, but all fathers. Here is what I’ve come up with.

Fathers are wise, kind and gentle and in our culture the symbol of wisdom is the great horned owl. I currently have two great horned owls that have been orphaned and brought to my rescue center. The owls are now large and beautiful, flying in their chambers and feeding themselves. It is now time to release them to the wild.

I would like to dedicate the release of these two beautiful great horned owls to all fathers everywhere, so this is what we’re going to do. At 8:00 in the evening on father’s day, anyone that would like to participate in the release of these great horned owls, please show up at the C Overlook above Cedar City. We will have a free drawing for all the fathers in attendance. We will chose two names and each of the lucky fathers will have the opportunity to release one of our great horned owls.

This will be an opportunity to hold a big beautiful owl in your hands and release it to the sky. Please come and join us. I look forward to seeing everyone at the Father’s Day Great Horned Owl Release.

Martin Tyner, Founder & CEO
Southwest Wildlife Foundation

Rescued Saw-whet Owl babies!

It’s spring, or better known to us “baby animal rescue season”.
Our latest rescue, 6 baby saw-whet owls.

A property owner had a large dead tree on their property cut down, not knowing that 30 feet up in the tree was a nest of saw whit owls in an old woodpecker hole.

After the tree was cut down and they started cutting the trunk into firewood size sections. They cut through the bottom of the nest and somehow they barely missed the chicks.

Of course the first phone call from the woodcutter was to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation.

The baby owls were brought to the SWF healthy and unharmed. The biggest problem that we have is they are old enough for their fear instinct to kick in; which makes them vicious little creatures and very hard to feed,so I am looking forward to lots of needle sharp talons puncturing my fingers and tiny but extremely sharp little beaks biting my hands for the next couple of weeks; until they become acclimated and can feed themselves.

I’m sure glad these baby owls aren’t the size of eagles.