Back to the Wild!
Please enjoy a compilation of wild bird releases from the past few years! Sending them back to the wild is the best part!
This video contains all the stuff I took with my phone from just a few days old till release. We had no idea what kind of bird it was. Took some time for it to grow up enough for us to determine exactly what it was. First horned larks we have raised. Unfortunately, only one of the two that a cat brought in to its owner grew up to be released. The other one aspirated during a feeding a week ago when it was mostly grown. Difficult to raise them successfully, so many possible problems. KayAnne Cantonwine and I took turns feeding them overnight and playing mamma bird.
Happy to see it fly free.
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.
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
Susan and Martin got the call at night before they went to bed and a couple hours later UDWR delivered another great horned owl that was extremely thin, has some broken feathers and some balance problems. It was found out on the Milford Flats and was probably hit by a car, but Martin found no broken bones and he did eat last night which is good.
You can see the owl’s beak looks a little tweaked, but he is still able to use it and open his mouth to eat just fine. They usually swallow small rodents whole.
From Martin Tyner, Founder of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation:
On Friday, January 27th, the eagle release was dedicated to the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund. An organization that helps underprivileged children receive hearing aids and other services, so that they may hear the sounds of music, their mother’s voice and their friend’s laughter.
Justin Osmond, Founder and CEO of Olive Osmond Hearing Fund and his father Merrill Osmond, lead singer and producer of the Osmond Family were chosen to release the eagle. At 3:30 Friday afternoon we invited everyone that would like to attend to meet us at Rush Lake Ranch, about 10 miles north of Cedar City along the Minersville Highway, to witness this beautiful eagles return to the sky.
The release site is about 8 miles from our rescue center. An old abandoned pioneer farm with a grove of large cottonwood trees. This is a favorite roosting site for the bald eagles that come down from Canada to spend the winters with us in Southern Utah.
There were over a hundred spectators that had come to watch the eagle release. As I got out of the car I pointed to the trees about two hundred yards away where there are three adult bald eagles, which had already arrived for their evening of rest in the large cottonwood trees. More eagles would be arriving soon. The largest group of eagles I’ve seen in that grove of trees at one time was 48 bald eagles in one sitting. This is the perfect place to release my newest eagle.
We gave Justin Osmond a moment to tell everyone about the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund and the amazing service they provide to under-privileged children with hearing loss. We walked a few steps over to the black rock wall that surrounds the property. I removed the hood from the eagles head and instructed Merrill Osmond to push the eagle away from him as the eagle is released, then she will soar back into the sky.
When I said to Mr. Osmond, “release the eagle”, she immediately took to the sky, flew hundreds of yards to the southwest and then turned to the north and landed at the top of the giant cottonwood trees with her fellow eagles.
We now wait for the next phone call, to rescue a sick, injured or orphaned wild critter. But in the meantime I will continue to provide wildlife programs to the schools, scouts, eagle courts of honors and community events with my best friend, a golden eagle named Scout, a 28 year old Harris Hawk named Thumper and a prairie falcon named Cirrus.
If anyone would like more information about our wildlife rescue or wildlife educational programs please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This great horned owl was brought to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, Inc. by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in November. It had been hit by a car west of Cedar City receiving a severe concussion which caused it to lose its vision and balance. Within a week of its arrival into our rehabilitation it was able stand and feed itself. Its vision was also returning but it still suffered from neurological and balance issues.
After two weeks in our care it was able to fly back and forth to the perches in its rehabilitation chamber. It was well on the road to a full recovery and after a month in rehabilitation it was released late in the afternoon on December 28 by Douglas Chang the president of the Las Vegas Chapter Audubon Society. Several spectators met up at the Rush Lake Ranch along the Minersville Highway, just north of Cedar City Utah for this release, but since the trees there were full of wintering bald eagles, we drove out to the Parowan Gap where the owl was released back to the wild.
A young eagle just learning to fly the end of June became separated from his parents. Unable to feed himself, and with the oppressive summer heat he was on the verge of death. After intensive care, fluids and feedings by Martin Tyner, rehabilitator and founder of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, the young eagle regained its strength and took his place back in the sky.
Saturday Evening August 8th, with family and friends gathered at the top of a mountain overlooking Cedar City Utah, Josh Terry released this eagle in memory of his daughter Kycie Jai Terry and to help raise awareness for Type 1 Diabetes which took her young life.
This little girl captured the hearts of many Southern Utahans’ and people around the world when her undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes led to a brain injury in January. Her subsequent 111-day stay at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City raised awareness about the dangers of undiagnosed juvenile diabetes as support for the Terry family grew through the Kisses for Kycie campaign. She died at home Saturday morning, July 11th in the arms of her father.
There is a common belief among many native people, that if you say your prayers with an eagle feather, the eagle feather will carry your prayers to God. An eagle has over seven thousand feathers. When we have an eagle ready for release, we will frequently seek out individuals or organizations that could use some extra prayers and allow them to release the eagle.
The Southwest Wildlife Foundation has two more young eagles at their rescue center that will also be released in the next few weeks.