Two barn owls that had been rescued on Memorial Day by fifth-grade student Carson Dismuke were released at the Dismuke family farm in McIntosh on Sept. 25 by Carson and Hawks Aloft.
After four months of care, and going through mouse training at the non-profit Santa Fe Raptor Center, the owlets had matured to become young adults and were ready for their freedom.
Hawks Aloft volunteer, Evelyn McGarry brought the owls in cardboard boxes designed for transporting animals. Carson was given the task of opening the boxes and carried them to a nearby spot for release.
Carson opened the boxes and the owls flew off, soaring low above the fields.
“This is because of you, Carson,” McGarry said.
When The Independent asked Carson what he thought of the owls’ return, he said, “It was cool.”
The owls were rescued by Carson from his parents’ barn when it collapsed during a storm with high winds earlier this year.
Carson said there are barn owls, great horned owls and burrowing owls on their property and pointed out a nest in a tree being used by great horned owls.
Carson’s mother Tabitha Chavez recalled that Carson had learned about helping wild birds at South Mountain Elementary in Edgewood, through a grant from Avangrid, [developers of the El Cabo wind farm in Torrance County].