2012 was a below average year for rehabilitation at Horizon Wings with only 52 birds coming through our doors (we typically see well over 60 per year). A mild winter and re-nesting young birds instead of raising them in captivity for future release are some of the reasons. Of the 52 birds brought to us, 22 were released back to the wild; 5 were transferred to educational facilities (including our black vulture, Stevie Ray); 6 are pending release in the spring; 9 died due to their injuries and 10 were humanely euthanized. This is a success rate of 63% including the transferred birds.

OWL RELEASES

(See also Falcon Releases and Hawk Releases)

GREAT-HORNED OWL RENESTING

Great-horned owl nestling Horizon Wings had in rehabilitation and then released.

Horizon Wings received a call from the owners of Ellington Ridge Country Club about a baby owl on the ground. Upon arrival, Mary-Beth and Jeanne discovered a nestling Great-horned owl whose nest had apparently blown apart in a wind storm the previous day. Because the best for this baby is to be reunited with his parents, it was decided to try to re-nest him. With the help of club staff Michelle and Al, Mary-Beth fashioned a nest from a piece of plywood and some pine branches. The nest was secured to the tree, and the owl was returned home with one of the parents watching intently.

Mary-Beth getting a lift up into a tree.

Mary-Beth getting a lift up into the tree.

Mary-Beth building the nest.

Building the nest.

Mary-Beth heading up into the tree with the great-horned owl nestling.

Mary-Beth heading up with the nestling.

The great-horned owl nesting is comfortably-ensconsed in his new nest.

The nestling is comfortably-ensconsed.

Mary-Beth starting the structure of the nest.

Starting the structure of the nest.

A great-horned owl parent watches Mary-Beth intently.

A parent watches intently.

Settling the great-horned owl nestling into his new home.

Settling the nestling in his new home.

Mother barred owl.Nestling barred owl.

Barred Owl

These two barred owls are a mother (left) and her nestling (right). The mother was struck by a car. The owlet was rescued from its nest tree by the Killingly Fire Department after people watching noticed that his sibling was gone from the tree and no adults had been seen. The two birds were banded and released near their nest site. This has been one of our most satisfying releases to date.

Barred owl with unusual light coloring.Two barred owls.

Barred Owl

This barred owl came to us after being struck by a car in Tolland, CT. She was quite unusual as she was lighter in color than most Barred Owls. Notice the difference in the picture on the right.

Juvenile saw-whet owl.Juvenile saw-whet owl ready for release.

Saw-Whet Owl

Juvenile saw-whet owl found out of his nest in Tolland, CT. Even though this is a young bird, it is fully grown. Once he proved to us that he could hunt, he was released back near his nest site.

Great-horned owl released in South Coventry, CT.Great-horned owl released in South Windsor, CT.

Great-Horned Owl

Great-horned owl released in South Coventry, CT (left) and one released in South Windsor, CT (right).

Red form screech owl.Gray form screech owl.

Screech Owl

Screech owls released in Ashford, CT. Red form on the left and gray form on the right.

FALCON RELEASES

(See also Owl Releases and Hawk Releases)

THE STORY OF V-17

Peregrine falcon, V17.Peregrine falcon, V17.Peregrine falcon, V17.

These photographs are of V-17, a peregrine falcon hatched on the Traveler's Tower in Hartford, CT in 2007. V-17 left the nest a few days before expected and was unable to get out of harm's way in downtown Hartford. He was brought to Horizon Wings for a few weeks of rehab and released at our center.

Peregrine falcon, V17.Peregrine falcon, V17.

These photographs were taken from the Traveller's web-cam. As only one of the four eggs hatched, we know these are pictures of V-17.

Peregrine falcon released in Killingly, CT.Peregrine falcon released in Killingly, CT.

Peregrine Falcon

A peregrine falcon we rehabbed after he flew into a greenhouse, which resulted in a broken wing. He was banded and released in Killingly, CT.

Peregrine falcon undergoing surgery.Peregrine falcon during rehabilitation.

Peregrine Falcon

On September 24 this peregrine falcon was found entangled in netting at a golf course in Somers, CT. Upon arriving at Horizon Wings for rehabilitation, Mary-Beth Kaeser discoverd an old break to its right ulna. After successful surgery and rehabilitation, the falcon was released on November 6.

Volunteer Brenda Lyons releasing a peregrine falcon.

Peregrine Falcon

Volunteer Brenda Lyons releasing a peregrine falcon that had undergone surgery on its wing.

American Kestrel released in Coventry, CT.American Kestrel released in Coventry, CT.

American Kestrel

A male American kestrel being released in
Coventry, CT.

Kestrel nestlings.Kestrel mother with male fledgling.

American Kestrel

These two kestrel nestlings were brought to Horizon Wings after their mother was found outside their nest box with a wound to her chest. It was decided that their best chance for survival was to be brought into rehab with their mother. All three birds were released at their nest site. The picture on the right is of the mother with her male fledgling.

Merlin released in Storrs, CT.Merlin released in Storrs, CT.

Merlin

A merlin being released at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs, CT.

HAWK RELEASES

(See also Owl Releases and Falcon Releases)

RED-TAILED HAWK

Red-tailed hawk.

On February 13th, this red-tailed hawk was found by snowmobilers caught in an illegally-set leg hold trap in Woodstock, Connecticut. After notifying the Department of Environmental Protection, the bird was brought to us for treatment. It was determined that the hawk's middle toe would have to be amputated, and after five weeks in rehab, the foot had healed enough for release.

When we brought the hawk back to Woodstock for release, we were told by the gentleman who found the bird that a red-tailed hawk had flown overhead that very morning. Mary-Beth opened the box, and the hawk flew across the yard into a tree, where he sat and preened for a while. He then flew off and started to circle and call while gaining altitude. Suddenly another red-tailed hawk appeared. They circled overhead for a few minutes and then flew off together.

Red-tailed hawk.
Red-shouldered hawk nestlings.Red-shouldered hawks at approximately two weeks old..

Red-Shouldered Hawk

These three red-shouldered hawks came to us after their nest tree was cut down. the picture on the left was taken at approximately two weeks of age. The picture on the right was taken four weeks later! Raptors grow very quickly.

Red-tailed hawk.

Red-Tailed Hawk

This adult red-tailed hawk was released in Ellington, CT.

Red-shouldered hawk released in Woodstock, CT.Red-shouldered hawk released in Woodstock, CT.

Red-Shouldered Hawk

A red-shouldered hawk who was covered with pine sap. We cleaned him up and released him to his mate in Woodstock, CT.

Broad-winged hawk fledgling.

Broad-Winged Hawk

Fledgling broad-winged hawk brought to Horizon Wings for rehabilitation.

Cooper's Hawk released in Enfield, CT.Cooper's Hawk released in Stafford, CT.

Cooper's Hawk

An adult cooper's hawk (left) released in Enfield, CT. This immature cooper's hawk (right) was relased in Stafford, CT.

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