Born to Be Wild Nature Center Director Vivian Maxson releases a snowy owl Thursday. The owl, found on the runway at Quonset Airport with a broken wing, was nursed back to health at the Bradford nature center. | (Courtesy of Peter Green / Providence Raptors)
January 10, 2014 11:44PM
By NANCY LAVIN
Sun Staff Writer
WESTERLY— Born to Be Wild Nature Center will release the second snowy owl it rehabilitated over the past six weeks on Sunday. The first snowy owl was released Thursday.
Directors Vivian and John Maxson have been caring for both female, juvenile owls for the past six weeks after both were found injured — one on the runway at Quonset Airport with a broken wing and one in downtown Providence with a puncture wound in its foot.
Both owls have healed from their injuries right on schedule, almost exactly in the six weeks Vivan predicted they would need to fully recover.
These two were among many snowy owls that flooded the coastal areas of New England this winter, which Vivian said was probably caused by an increase in the lemming population — their primary food source in the Arctic — which in turn caused snowy owl mothers to lay more eggs. With too many juvenile owls competing for limited food supply in the Arctic, Vivan said some were forced to migrate south to find food. The owls likely will return to their Arctic homeland in March, when the winter season there has ended, according to Vivian.