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Masked Owl Release at Tasmania’s Raptor Refuge

A few weeks ago I photographed Craig down at the Raptor and Wildlife Refuge of Tasmania Inc in southern Tasmania as he released a young female Masked Owl back into the wild. The evening started with a little suspicion on the Owl’s part regarding just what exactly Craig’s intentions were, and she kept a close eye on him – taking full advantage of that unique ability owls possess to turn their heads almost a full 180 degrees.

Raptor Refuge - Masked Owl Release Oct 2011

Keeping an Eye on You

She obviously didn’t completely trust him (that sly grin wasn’t fooling anyone) so she gave him just a little reminder of who’s boss:

Raptor Refuge Masked Owl Release Oct 2011

Farewell “kiss”

Now that the “pecking order” had been established and we all knew exactly who was running this show our feathered friend granted us a couple of minutes of well behaved posing for the camera before freedom.

Raptor Refuge Masked Owl Release Oct 2011

Final Pose before Freedom

After that she was gone – straight to the top of the nearest gum she could find, and free to make a home in the hills around Kettering. She did keep an eye on us though, a long way below.

Raptor Refuge Masked Owl Release Oct 2011

Raptor Refuge Masked Owl Release Oct 2011

Craig does an enormous amount of work looking after Tasmania’s endangered raptors. The Raptor & Wildlife Refuge is home to many injured raptors such as the masked owl, Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle and others. The Refuge produces a calendar every year. Purchasing this calendar is a great way to support the refuge as all funds raised by calendar sales are used to keep the Refuge running. I am very pleased to be associated with the refuge and using my photography to support the conservation of Tasmania’s magnificent raptors.

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About Luke

Luke O'Brien runs a stall at Hobart's popular Salamanca Market every Saturday where his prints and cards are available for purchase. Follow Luke's photographic adventures on Twitter at @lukeobrienphoto, at his Facebook page or by subscribing to his email newsletter.