Snowy owl released back into the snow

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Kristopher Radder — Brattleboro Reformer

PUNTEY — After three weeks of rehabilitation for a broken wing, a snowy owl, an arctic species, was released back into the wild Wednesday.

Ron Svec, a veterinarian at the Vermont New Hampshire Veterinary Clinic in Dummerston, said that when the owl was brought in, it was in good shape and that they were able to immobilize the wing to allow the metacarpal bone to heal.

Fred Homer, of Williamsville, who helps with bird rehabilitation, released the bird into a snow-covered field.

"It was just the fruition of what I was hoping to achieve," said Homer. "Get a bird back into the wild, and if it comes to me or Dr. Svec, it's normally something serious."

Tammy and Ken Butler found the snowy owl near their home in Whitingham and called Mike Clough, from the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum, who was able to capture the bird and bring it to Homer, who brought it to Svec for treatment. When the bird was bandaged, Svec returned it to Homer to allow it to recover.

The owl apparently traveled south as part of a natural occurrence called irruption, which is based on the life cycle of the lemming population.


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