Barred owl released into wild following recuperation

Candy Ridlebauer releases a barred owl into the wild Thursday evening, March 8. (Photo by Cathy Hoover)

By Carole Linne

Candy Ridlebauer of Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education released a barred owl into the wild Thursday, March 8. The bird had been held for recuperation at the Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education facility in Loves Park.

I discovered the owl early Saturday morning, Nov. 19, 2011, hanging by its wing ensnared in fishing wire from a tree on Race Street, Rockton, a popular fishing area. The bird was conscious and calm, hanging over the water out of reach. Bud Anderson of the North American Hydro Plant nearby helped pull her in and cut the fishing line from the wing tip with a pair of nail clippers.

The owl lay in the grass calmly, most likely in shock, not attempting to move. I wrapped it in my coat and easily transported her.

Mari Weikel of Rockton, who has some experience with animal rescue, kept the owl safe until Candy picked her up and transported it to Loves Park.

The veterinarian was able to see hemorrhages in the eyes, which eventually healed. However, the owl was so calm and docile, Candy did not think it would be releaseable. Its slow reactions would put the owl at risk in the wild.

Recently, the owl, which was determined to be a first-year female, was housed with another barred owl, and made a swift recovery to strength and agility. The owl was certified releaseable. Attending the release were Candy and Steve Ridlebauer and Cathy Hoover.

From the April 4-10, 2012, issue

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