The Northwest Raptor & Wildlife Center, the Sequim-based wildlife rescue and rehabilitation nonprofit founded by executive director Jaye Moore, announced last week that it has released nine barn owls.
The center specializes in treating injured, orphaned, ill or abused wild animals and releasing them back into the wild.
Center officials received nine orphaned barn owl owlets this year; the owlets enjoyed a 100-percent survival rate.
The owlets were raised by Moore, Raptor Center volunteers and two adult surrogate mother barn owls who fed and taught the owlets once their condition was stabilized.
“The owls enjoyed a soft release,” said Matthew Randazzo, center public relations director. “We opened the long flight enclosure we had used to build up the baby owls’ flight strength so that they could come and go as they pleased. If they needed food or a safe place to sleep, their enclosure would still be there for them.
“Almost immediately after the enclosure was first opened last week, however, two wild barn owls came by the center and started calling in the night. It was literally the ‘call of the wild’ and by the next morning, all the owls had answered it.”
Moore said she is comfortable saying the owlets officially have “flown the nest” and are no longer under her care.
The care of the owls was financed entirely using local donations from the community. No one accepts a salary for work done at the all-volunteer Raptor Center, which is permitted by the state and federal government to rescue and rehabilitate wild animals.
Find more information at www.facebook.com/northwestraptorcenter.