Photo courtesy of the Southeastern Raptor Center
Zach McCrocklin, a volunteer with the Southeastern Raptor Center, releases an adult Red-tailed hawk. Several rehabilitated birds were released at the Opelika Wood Duck Heritage Preserve and Siddique Nature Park on Oct. 11.
The Southeastern Raptor Center at Auburn
University’s College of Veterinary Medicine held a public release of three
rehabilitated birds on Oct. 11. The birds—two Red-tailed hawks and a Barred
owl—were set free at the Opelika Wood Duck Heritage Preserve and Siddique
Nature Park. The 73-acre wetland is home to a large population of birds,
including hawks, warblers, owls, songbirds and ducks.
This is the first time that the Southeastern
Raptor Center has released birds in the preserve and nature park. The hawks and
owl were chosen for release after they passed several flight evaluations,
according to Elizabeth Crandall, assistant director of the Southeastern Raptor
"We put a lot of time and other resources into
rehabilitating close to 400 birds a year,” she said. "Unfortunately, we are not
able to rehabilitate much less release the majority of these. So when we do
have a success story, it is always rewarding to return these wild birds back to
their natural habitat.”
Birds that are unable to return to the wild remain
at the center and are used to educate students and the general public about
raptors, or transferred to another educational facility.
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