Thursday, October 14, 2010

the great escape

This evening our little group met up at a local winery whose owners sponsored a release of two rescued owls. The winery is Folio - the Michael Mondavi Family Winery. I was very curious about how owls are released. The non-profit group that rescues these birds and other wildlife is the Wildlife Care Association. They operate on a shoestring budget, yet rescue 5-7,000 wild animals per year. The great horned owl above was rescued about 14 years ago and could not be released back into the wild due to a broken wing. She nurtures young orphaned horned owls and acts as an ambassador for the Association. I took this photo with a close-up setting, and the owl did not blink.

This little screech owl is blind in its left eye, so is also an ambassador and foster parent.

At dusk all the excitement was about this -the release of two barn owls in the organically farmed Carneros vineyard surrounding the Michael Mondavi Family Winery. Two new owl boxes have been installed at the edge of the vineyard. Rob Mondavi hosted the crowd of birders, wine enthusiasts, and local Napa families eager to see the young owls take wing. I talked to many present, and most of the guests were Napa area residents. We were all so glad to support the mission of this small and effective group.

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