• Robert Hopper

Barred Owl to Return to the Skies in Fayetteville after Rehabilitation

Updated: Aug 4

The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust (NWALT) and Northsong Wild Bird Rehabilitation (Northsong) will be hosting a rehabilitated barred owl release at the Wilson Springs Preserve in Fayetteville on Saturday, August 13th from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM. This event will highlight the importance of both environmental and avian conservation in the NWA community. Dr. Emily Warman from Northsong and a NWALT representative will give a 30-minute oral presentation about the background of the barred owl patient, and the impact that it will have on the Wilson Springs Preserve. The public is invited to join this family friendly event.


“We are excited to partner with Northsong to release this owl back into the wild at Wilson Springs Preserve,” said Marson Nance, director of land stewardship and research. “Barred owls have been observed on the preserve throughout the year. Barred owls nest and live in forests, wooded river bottoms, and wooded swamps. They tend to be prey generalists and are highly adaptable to a variety of landscapes including urban and suburban areas. With 121 contiguous acres at Wilson Springs Preserve and its connection to Underwood Park, other Land Trust properties and a wooded corridor along Clabber Creek, we believe the preserve to be an excellent site for this owl to begin its next chapter.” Snacks and drinks will be provided at no cost. Parking for the event will be available at the south end of the Sam’s Club parking lot at 3081 N, AR-112, Fayetteville, AR 72704.


About the Rehabilitated Barred Owl

This barred owl’s journey to recovery started on June 16, 2022, when it was found down and unable to fly. After an initial examination, Northsong team members diagnosed the owl suffered from a heavy burden of external feather parasites and a retinal detachment that affected 30% of its left eye. Northsong provided fluids and medical treatment for the dehydration and parasites while also monitoring the owl’s eye injury.


“In some patients, retinal detachments worsen, while in others they can heal over a period of days to weeks,” said Dr. Warman. “By June 30, our team saw the detachment was healing wonderfully with less than 5% of its eye still affected.” The owl passed its final visual and flight examination on July 16, clearing the way for its return to the wild.


About Wilson Springs Preserve

The 121-acre public preserve is an excellent opportunity to connect with nature in the middle of Fayetteville. ​Wilson Springs provides valuable ecosystem services to the community. As a wetland, it protects water quality and controls flooding by slowing runoff and filtering pollutants before they reach our waterways. The preserve hosts a rich variety of habitats that are perfect for predatory birds, such as barred owls. It also provides scenic value to surrounding properties while providing critical habitat to many unique plants and animals, including beneficial pollinators.


About Northsong Wild Bird Rehabilitation

Northsong Wild Bird Rehabilitation is a Northwest Arkansas based 501c3 organization dedicated to providing medical care to injured avian wildlife while promoting environmental conservation through community involvement and education. Northsong’s goal is to get the patients back into the wild where they belong - to give them a second chance at life. For more information, visit Northsong Wild Bird Rehabilitation (northsongbird.org)


About Northwest Arkansas Land Trust

The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust is a local, non-governmental, accredited, non-profit organization, dedicated to enhancing the quality of life through the permanent protection of land. By holding and managing donated land and providing conservation easement services, the Land Trust protects water quality, local farms, wildlife habitats, and places for outdoor recreation while enhancing the quality of life for today and future generations. The service area of the Land Trust includes 13 counties in Northwest Arkansas, with a core focus on Benton, Carroll, Madison, and Washington counties. For more information, visit the Land Trust’s website at www.nwalandtrust.org.