This summer, naturalists from Kiawah Island Golf Resort had the rare privilege of releasing three barred owls (Strix varia) on Kiawah’s Cougar Island adjacent to The Ocean Course. All three owls were originally found in Colleton County, South Carolina, and were treated by the medical staff at The Center for Birds of Prey (http://www.thecenterforbirdsofprey.org/) in Awendaw, South Carolina.
Barred Owls are common patients at The Center for Birds of Prey, often injured by motor vehicles. These car collisions happen when barred owls swoop down to grab a roadside snack, like a mouse that is feeding on human trash. By not throwing food waste out of cars, as well as, by driving slower at night, the risks that humans pose to barred owls can be significantly reduced.
Competition from established owls will likely cause their dispersal to other areas. However, hopeful these individual will remain on island, our naturalists continue to listen for their calls during our nature walks.
This photo captures one of the released owls taken at the eastern end of the island by Pamela Cohen, Kiawah Conservancy Trustee and owner of Prima Photography. If you encounter or have questions regarding a possibly injured bird on Kiawah Island, contact the Kiawah Island Nature Program at Night Heron Park (843.768.6001) or visit http://www.kiawahresort.com/recreation/wildlife-as-we-see-it.php.