It’s time to look back on 2019! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2019 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
As a volunteer transporter during the last six or seven years, I’ve had many wonderful and painful memories. But the most recent and funniest memory was of an owl release on October 5. I eagerly accepted the request to transport and release an owl in Richmond. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was an owl that had been raised by Papa G’Ho, the Center’s surrogated Great Horned Owl. For most raptor releases, we open the crate door holding the raptor, and it’s never more than a minute or two before the bird flies out, happy to be free. Not this owl! Ten minutes in, s/he just sat in the crate, fluffed up, looking around. Maybe s/he was wondering what I was doing and expecting some sort of show? Anyway, I gingerly tipped the crate forward. Nope!
So, plan B. I unbolted the crate top, pulled it off, showing the bird that that it had a lovely wooded area to explore and fly off to make a new life. S/he just sat there looking at me. As I moved away with the top of the crate to put it in my car, s/he finally flew to the top of the fence nearby! Finally, by the time I got back, s/he got the hint and flew off! While I do love seeing them fly off immediately and happily, I really enjoyed that release. It was so unexpected and funny.
-- Vivian, Registered Volunteer Transporter