World Famous "D.C. Snowy" calling Twin Ports home for now

By KBJR News 1

April 19, 2014 Updated Apr 19, 2014 at 6:07 PM CST

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- A rare snowy owl that gained worldwide attention after being discovered injured in downtown Washington D.C. earlier this year is calling the Twin Ports his home for now.

Dubbed the D.C. Snowy, this lively little guy has been recouping at the University of Minnesota's world–renowned Raptor Center ever since experts assume he was hit by a bus in our nation's capitol in January.

After a brief stint at east coast rehab centers, he was shipped to Minnesota to undergo the ancient practice of feather imping. That's where an expert replaces a bird's damaged or burned feathers by using feathers from a separate carcass.

While experts would have liked to ship him back to the east coast for release, the D.C. snowy proved too spirited to make the return trip on a plane without risk of injury.

So, after consulting an area biologist, Raptor Center executive director Julia Ponder and her crew determined the marshlands by the Midwest Energy Shipyard in Superior to be the best spot for his release into the wild.

"Very, very nice, powerful wing beats," said Ponder, moments after she released the D.C. snowy into the air, "[she] showed good strength. We had evaluated it quite well down at the center in the cities, but yes, he flew wonderfully."

Another female snowy owl that shared rehab cages with the D.C. snowy was released shortly after.

But Ponder says they're a loner species, and most likely won't keep up the friendship in the wild.

Billy Wagness
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