Releasing Birds Back Into The Wild

Soren Barn Owl

This mature Bald Eagle came in from Quilcene where he was found in a hay barn completely emaciated, In fact, he weighed less than 5 lbs! Sometimes winter is hard on wildlife, and when there is a lot of competition for food, some of them suffer. We also look for another outlying problem which caused them to be thin, like a head injury, It may not be apparent when we receive them, so clues to where or how they were found can help us look for other problems, Pay attention to where you find a bird; under a power line, under a window or door, along the freeway, this is important information. This eagle was eventually released by Oak Bay State Park.
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Rider Swainson's Hawk

The Great Blue Heron in this picture was found entangled in fishing net and had scrapes and wounds all over its body and was very emaciated. At DBWBR we receive these long-legged waders all year round as they get themselves in trouble in many ways. These gangly birds get a bad reputation for eating fish out of ponds and other places that they may not be wanted. We have to learn to share the world with our wild inhabitants so we must find ways to prevent unwanted encounters. Our center is available to answer questions that will help you live with our wild neighbors!
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Hummingbird Release

In Washington State we have two species of Hummingbirds who live here - Anna's Hummingbirds are year round and visit feeders even in the winter time. Rufous Hummingbirds are our spring visitors. Often times these birds are brought to us after striking windows or as orphans who have fallen from the nest. Many hummingbirds are caught by cats each year and the best way to prevent this is to keep cats indoors! Hummingbirds require very specialized requirements; if you find one in distress get it to us right away! This Anna's Hummingbird was cared for by us and released.
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Mallard Duck Release

Every spring we raise a lot of orphaned ducklings. Many have been grabbed by a cat or dog, it's important to remember that there are a lot of baby birds, and other animals being born and raised in the spring. Please keep your dogs on leashes and keep your cats indoors. Outdoor cats kill as many as 3.7 BILLION birds per year in the USA. This Mallard, along with many other ducklings, was cared for by us until it was large enough to be released. It enjoyed its first flight to freedom at Kai Tai Lagoon.
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Common Loon Release

This Common Loon was found on a parking lot after a rain, When birds like loons and grebes fly over a wet paved area they often mistake it for water especially it there is a gleam off the paved area from lighting. This causes them to come down hard on these areas and then because they can only take off from water they are stuck until someone finds them. We rely on people to bring these birds to us so we can check for injuries and then get them waterproof again before release! This bird in the photo actually had dislocated its shoulder and needed special care.
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Canada geese release

Canada goslings come to us every year like mallard ducklings abandoned and lost. People find them wandering around and vulnerable by themselves. It is important for these birds to be raised in at least pairs, otherwise they will become too tame and learn to bond to humans instead. They need to learn to behave like wild geese so they can be released safely and live within wild flocks. We receive calls from well-meaning people each year who have made the mistake of trying to raise them without the know-how. Please call us if you find one of these birds!
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Rhinoceros Auklet Released

Thanks to Protection Island, breeding habitat is provided for the largest population of Rhinoceros Auklets in the world. It is also the last place we can find breeding pairs of Puffins (a close cousin) in WA. This is a tremendous responsibility for all of us to protect and preserve this critical area that we too call home. At DBWBR we take this responsibility very seriously, we have the pools and rehabilitation facilities for these birds when they are injured. They don’t beach themselves unless something is wrong, so please help! Pick them up, don’t leave on the beach or try to put back in the water, because a predator like an eagle will make a meal of them. Get them into a warm, dark, quiet place and call us. Keep them warm and dry because that's the first treatment for shock.
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Pygmy Owl Released

This Northern Pygmy Owl was injured when he flew into a car. He had a head injury and a slight injury to his eye. Fortunately, we were able to help him by supporting him while he recovered and by giving eye drops and something for pain and to reduce the swelling to his head. After spending a few weeks recuperating at DBWBR we were able to release our smallest owl in Washington and send him back where he was found! It was a joyful moment we captured with our camera as he took in his surroundings, once again feeling the freedom of being a wild bird.
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Barred Owl Release

Here is a Barred Owl that was released back to his home in the woods. He had been hit by a car and suffered a head injury. Owls often have head and eye injuries from impacts with cars. Unlike hawks and other raptors they don’t have any bony structures in their skulls to protect their eyes. This is due to the large size of their eyes and the space necessary to contain them. Owls eyes are unable to move in their sockets from side to side like humans, that is why they have more flexible necks and look like they can turn their heads all the way around! They have twice the vertebrae in their necks than we do, 14 vertebrae!
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