Screech Owl Release

I’d signed up and donated to participate in the release of wild Screech Owls through the Greater Sacramento Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers on the 17th.  I’d never seen a live Screech Owl and was really looking forward to it.

The personnel at GSC AAZK were incredibly rude (and billed me TWICE for my donation), however, so they sort of destroyed the mood of the whole event).  Obviously, I won’t ever be donating to them again.  But the proceeds of the night’s event went to support the Wildlife Care Association in Sacramento, and I love the work they do.  And their personnel were very polite and accommodating, and put on an interesting talk before the release was going to happen that evening. GSC AAZK could learn a LOT from them.

The release was not quite I’d hoped. The owl they handed me flew away before it even touched my glove.  It was great to see it return so easily to the wild, but I was disappointed because I didn’t even get the chance to LOOK at it before it took off.  As the event was ending, however, the personnel from WCA came running up to me and asked if I’d like to get some photos taken with their animal ambassador Screech Owl (not one that was going to be released, but one they used for educational purposes).  I thought that was very nice of them, so I did that.  The little ambassador Screech Owl had a blown pupil (like David Bowie) and was so tiny. Not as small as the Northern Pygmy, but still pretty small.  It was cool be able to be that close to it.

WCA: 1    GSC AAZK: a big fat zero.

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Mary K. Hanson is a breast cancer survivor who, at age 61, took coursework to become a Certified California Naturalist. The author of “The Chubby Woman’s Walkabout”™ blog, Ms. Hanson has also written nature-based feature articles published in regional newspapers, authored over ten books, including her "Cool Stuff Along the American" series of guide books, and has had her photographs featured in books, articles, calendars, on the American River Parkway Foundation’s Instagram stream, and even the White House blog. This year Ms. Hanson is helping to launch and teach a new Certified California Naturalist course through Tuleyome, in partnership with the University of California and the Woodland Library, so members of the public can themselves become certified as naturalists in the state. All of the photos seen on her website were taken by Ms. Hanson herself (unless noted otherwise) with moderate- to low-end photographic equipment more easily affordable to the everyday nature enthusiast. She also occasionally leads photo-walks through the American River Bend Park for the public and is sometimes available for public speaking.