Rehab and Release Stories:

We see a lot of injured wildlife come through our doors and it is not possible to put all of them online.

On this page you will find just a small selection of the animals that were released back into the wild.

Some of the birds on this page are still in the rehabilitation phase, but we are hopeful

that they will be released in the future.

 

Here is a look at some of our rehab and release stories for 2018 so far.

View rehab and release stories for 2017 here.

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Pileated WoodPecker

This beautiful female Pileated came into us with an injured wing.
She was successfully released back to the homeowner's property who found her, and to her anxiously awaiting mate.
What a great way to start the New Year!

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Great  Horned Owl

This Great Horned Owl came in to us with a bit of a unique story.
It was found by a snow plow driver who stopped when she noticed it laying on the side of the road. It was so frail and cold that she wrapped it in her coat to warm it, and it traveled that way for the next 2 hours while she finished plowing and could meet up with one of our volunteers.
On intake it seemed stunned and barely conscious but luckily nothing was broken.
After spending some time rehabbing and putting on a bit of needed weight, it was released at Columbia Mountain, and quickly disappeared into the woods.
We are sure he sends out a big thank-you to the kindly snow-plow driver for taking the time to investigate the strange lump in the snow!

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Great Gray Owl

This Great Gray was hit by a car and suffered injury to a leg and to one eye.

Despite the permanent eye damage she is in good health and was ready to return to the wild!
There is documentation that owls with blindness in one eye can fully function in their natural habitats.
We wish this beautiful lady all the luck!

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Great Horned Owl

This Great Horned Owl was pretty lucky...
It had gotten entangled in some netting. Fortunately the property owner spotted it before any injuries were inflicted while struggling to free itself.
Volunteers were careful to remove all netting from its torso and tail, and after a short stay at the center it was returned to the wild.

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Coopers Hawk

This sub-adult Coopers Hawk was admitted with a sprain to it's right wing on April 25th.
After not quite three weeks rehabbing at the center it was fully recovered and ready for release back into the wild.
It made a very speedy take off with an excellent long flight before perching in a tree.

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Immature Bald Eagle

Back on January 10th this amazing Immature Bald Eagle came into our care after being discovered grounded from it's injury.
X-rays showed the left wing had a break at the finger joint.
Fortunately it made a wonderful recovery and was released back to the Hot Springs area it had been found in.
We wish him all the best!

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Evening Grosbeak

This male Evening Grosbeak was fortunate and only needed some quiet time to recover after being stunned from flying into a window. Sorry we missed getting photos of his return to the wild flight...He was just too quick to catch with the camera!

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Great Horned Owl

This handsome Great Horned Owl came to us from the Polson area back in January of this year with a substantial head injury.
It appeared he had lost most or all of his vision, so was unable to eat on his own. Volunteers assisted him with feeding each day, making sure he was getting the required nourishment.
He spent many months in our care as we wanted to give him every chance of recovering his sight if he was able to.
Eventually he began eating well on own, and after proving he was sound for flight he was happily and successfully returned to the wild.

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Mated Pair of Great Horned Owls

All releases back to the wild make our day, but this one is just a little extra special!
This Mated pair of Great Horned Owls came to us from outside of the Polson area. Owls do not build nests, they use other birds "abandoned" nests, broken tree tops, or cavities. Which is where this couples trouble began...
They had tried to take over a Raven nest, but the Ravens refused to relinquish it to them. In the battle the male Great Horned unfortunately lost an eye, and the female sustained injuries to both wings and was unable to fly.
Once their time in rehab was complete they were successfully released to a new area, and immediately paired back up.
We wish them a long, happy life together!

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Bald Eagle

A big thanks to Dr. Karen Hartle, DVM from Calm Animal Care Veterinary Clinic in Kila for rescuing this Bald Eagle from along the bike trail at Smith Lake.
She found it very water-logged and unable to fly. It was very emaciated, on intake at our center it weighed in at under 3 pounds. Thank goodness it was found when it was, it would not have survived much longer in that state.
After some time rehabbing in our care it was successfully released at a healthy 6.9 pounds.

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Great Horned Owlet

It is always a joy watching the "babies" that come into our care each Spring grow and thrive. Even more so watching them fly off to start their lives in the wild.
Here is the first of this year's owlets to be released, what a beautiful flight!

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Great Horned Owlet

Another happy day, another successful release!
This is the second of this year's Great Horned Owlets all grown and ready to officially start life back out in the wild.
After gathering his bearings he took a long steady flight, and soon disappeared into the trees.
Good luck out there youngster!

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Bald Eagle

This adult, female Bald Eagle came in from the St. Ignatius area on 7-11-18. She was not using her left wing, and on physical exam there was an abrasion found.
There was a report that an Eagle was being stomped by a deer in that area but we were unable to confirm it.
After some time rehabbing at our facility she began flying in the flight room, and at a healthy weight was released after being banded with a bright blue band to make her easily identifiable. She had previously been banded in 2012 four miles NE of Florence.

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Bald Eagle

This mature Bald Eagle was rescued by Beth & Bob Watne from a field outside of Procter on the evening of June 15th. It had an obvious gunshot wound.
Dr. Bechtel, at the Whitefish Animal Clinic, cleaned the wounds on the chest and wing. X-ray showed the wing had a fractured ulna and radius with obvious lead fragments present. The wing was splinted and then the Eagle was taken back to our center to begin it's rehabilitation.
At two weeks the follow up x-ray showed excellent healing and bonding of the fragments so the splint was removed. After another two weeks of restricted movement the bird was moved into our flight room, and on September 1st it was happily released on private property near where it was found.

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Osprey

Back on September 17th this juvenile Osprey, from Juniper Bay, was admitted into our care for multiple lacerations and punctures that required sutures.
It had been in a confrontation with another bird and apparently lost.
The injuries healed up wonderfully and it's back out flying free.

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Loon

Back in September this Loon was found out in a farmer's plowed field.
It spent a few days in our pond, and then a couple days in the slew that runs behind the center before eventually flying off.

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Swainson's Hawk

This juvenile Swainson's Hawk came into our care on August 2nd from the Browning area.
It had been found very underweight, only 690g on intake.
After spending a little over a month receiving plenty of good nutrition and a little rest and relaxation, it was released back into the wild on September 12th at a healthy weight of 1280g.
It was a beautiful release!

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Sharp Shinned Hawk

This Sharp Shinned Hawk was admitted on October 10th after hitting a window in the Kalispell area.
Fortunately it did not sustain any permanent injuries and after a couple weeks of rest and good nutrition it made a very successful return to the wild on October 23rd.

Montana Wild Wings Recovery Center, Copyright 2014

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