Tracking Carolina Raptor Center orphans
Each spring a fairly large number of young Barred Owls wind up at Carolina Raptor Center. In many cases, these birds can be put back in their nest area where their parents will take care of them. (Young owls leave their nest before they can fly. They're quite adept at climbing up trees with their beak and claws and their parents keep track of them and deliver food to them.) In some cases, the birds can't be returned to their territory. They are fed and raised in a big flight cage. When they are fully grown and after passing "mouse school" they are released into the wild to fend for themselves.
In 2000, we followed a couple of Carolina Raptor Center orphans as a pilot project. Both birds survived quite a while (maps below--details will be filled in). The bird in the upper map was killed when it hit a car. The other bird flew into a car but suffered only minor injuries and was released (again).
In 2004, CRC, in collaboration with Dr. Mark Stanback of Davidson College, received a grant to expand upon these initial studies. Five young owls have been outfitted with transmitters and released.