Injured Snowy Owl Returns to Freedom
© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved. Snowy Owl portrait

Injured Snowy Owl Returns to Freedom

After I spent weeks photographing a wild Snowy Owl in Providence through a zoom lens like a paparazzi, getting to “meet” this owl was, for me, like meeting a celebrity.

The stunning beauty seen here was found injured on November 26th at Quonset Airport. She was first taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of RI for evaluation where x-rays revealed her right wing was broken in three places. As with all raptors in need of rehabilitation in RI, she was brought to Born to Be Wild Nature Center to receive top quality care. I’m sincerely grateful for the invitation to take portraits of this young female Snowy Owl at the end of her recuperation.

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

For insulation in the arctic, the Snowy Owl’s beak is entirely covered in feathers. Their large, yellow eyes provide excellent stereoscopic vision and depth perception:

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Their fully feathered feet (also for insulation from cold) are my favorite part of the amazing Snowy Owl:

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

The heavily striped tail feathers indicate this is likely a female:

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

After six weeks of healing and being the best-fed Snowy Owl in the state, she was ready for release on a secluded beach on January 9th. Again, I’m grateful to be invited to photograph this private event with only five humans present.

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

After a few steps out of the carrier, she spread her wings, kicked up sand, and was free once again:

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

CBS News journalist, John Bently was there taking video of the event:

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

The smile and exhilaration on her face was undeniable:

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

She flew approximately 300 yards away — very impressive! Instead of following her for close-up photos, we made sure she was safe and wished her good luck on life’s uncertain journey. Thanks to Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of RI and Born to Be Wild Nature Center, this owl has a second chance.

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Click play (to the right) to watch CBS National News coverage of snowy owl migration, including interviews with URI Professor Peter Patton, Vivian Maxson from Born to Be Wild Nature Center, and a few of my photos.

News of the release and my best photo was published in the Providence Journal and the Westerly Sun.

If you love snowy owls and enjoy seeing raptors in RI, please donate to BTBW online, it’s easy! They receive no federal or state funding and rely on generous donations from people like me and you. Please click here to donate: hawkri.org


Want more? CLICK HERE for my photo series of a wild Snowy Owl in Providence RI.

© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2014 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

11 Comments

  1. Posted 01.17.14 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    You really captured the essence of this remarkable owl and as per your usual standards, these photos are exceptional. Well done, Peter!

  2. Michelle Lundquist
    Posted 01.17.14 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    So beautiful, thank you for sharing! They are so magnificent looking.

  3. Faye Geller
    Posted 01.18.14 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Breathtaking photographs of an incredible creature. So glad she was rehabilated successfully. Your photographs capture close up visions of what I’ve only observed from afar so wondrously. Thank you.

  4. Anna LeBlanc
    Posted 01.18.14 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Love this story Peter and I’m so happy you got to be a part of it.You and your photos are always something I look forward to seeing!

  5. Mary Karraker
    Posted 01.18.14 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    This one is on my bucket list. How I wish I could come to RI, in time to see one. I am so thankful that this bird was taken care of and apparently healed well. Wonderful photos, thanks.

  6. Darlene Manella
    Posted 01.25.14 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    How amazingly beautiful. Thank you so much for these wonderful photos and thanks to everyone who cares for these magnificent creatures.

  7. Marie
    Posted 02.15.14 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Amazing photos and story. It’s nice to know people care about these beautiful creatures. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Kathie
    Posted 12.21.14 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Peter…..another “Thank you”…..your photos are stunning.

  9. Susan Anderson
    Posted 12.23.14 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Oh, Peter, that was truly a privilege! What a beautiful owl! :-)

  10. Judy McGuire
    Posted 12.23.14 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    The photos give each bird a personality, you are the best. Thanks for sharing these breath taking photos. Maybe next year you can photograph Chimney Swifts or a Hummingbird being released.

  11. RG
    Posted 01.08.15 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous

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