Barred owl returned to the wild at Waterford Country School

Waterford — A barred owl that had been hit by a truck and became stuck in the grille in December was released Tuesday after being rehabilitated at Waterford Country School.

Ben Turner, outdoor education director at Waterford Country School, released the rehabilitated barred owl into a field at the school's nature center.

The bird was brought to the school in December after it was rescued by Waterford Animal Control Officer Robert Yuchniuk from the grille of a truck that struck it along Great Neck Road.

Turner said the owl was in pretty bad shape when the school first took it in. "It could barely stand and had to be hand-fed for the first two weeks," he said. Even after moving into an outdoor enclosure, the owl "struggled a bit," according to Turner. It had some trouble perching and would not even try to fly at first.

The owl has been well enough to release for several weeks but the weather did not cooperate and Turner wanted at least some of those who helped in the rehabilitation effort to be there.

"It was a powerful team effort for everyone involved," he said. All students at the school who spent time at the outdoor education center, as well as part-time staff and volunteers, supplemented the school's staff over the course of the rehabilitation.

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