In 2014, this seed of a project was planted; finally, it has come to fruition. THE GOAL: to assist the Santa Fe Country Club with a more natural and financially feasible way to manage the gopher infestation and subsequent damage.
The process: introduce barn owls to the area via a special enclosure pen or “hack site” in hopes they acclimate and stick around once released.
The result: as of July 11, 2018, the young owls have fledged and the hope is they will begin hunting on their own, inside the hack site for the time being. When ready, the hack site will be opened. If we did our job, then the owls should feel established at their new home and want to stay.
Around the 20th of July, 2018, the hack site net was opened to allow for free range, independent hunting & living. Occasionally, there is a visit “home” and it seems all is well. Time will tell if the gopher population begins to diminish on the course.
With the establishment of this hack site and the successful release, we are now on the list for possible future releases from wildlife rehabilitation facilities in the state.
Please enjoy our gallery of videos of the owls as they grow.
28 July, 2018. All grown up now. Free to come & go.
24 July, 2018. Dinner time!
18 July, 2018. Almost ready to leave the hack site.
17 July, 2018. The owls are eating well & doing great!
17 July, 2018. New camera angle. It didn’t stay this way for long.
16 July, 2018. Exploring the environs.
16 July, 2018. Young owl checking things out
16 July, 2018. Stretching and trying to figure things out.
15 July, 2018. They seem to be encouraging each other
15 July, 2018. We are so close to taking off!
15, July, 2018. Trying to go to bed but just having a hard time. Goodnight moon.
11 July, 2018. Dawn is breaking. It’s time to go to sleep.
11 July, 2018. Warming up the wings, looking to fly soon.
11 July, 2018. The barn owls have fledged! Here, the older owl is enjoying a prime roast of gopher. All he needs is a good Chianti.