Sometime during his recovery, his wing turned just a smidgen on the pin causing his wing to be just a degree off from where it should be. This wasn't discovered until it had healed completely. The snowy can fly, but has to use a lot of energy. He also can't hunt well because of this. After weeks of evaluation, it was determined that he was non-releasable. The repair couldn't be corrected, so he is to be evaluated for being an education bird.
Cindy started working with him and he picked up on things fairly well. She decided he would make a great addition to the education program. Approval was received from USF&W and the search was on for a caretaker.
Bird TLC is one of a few organizations that's allowed to have it's volunteers house the education birds at their homes. I submitted my request to the Education Committee along with a mew design. I was selected and the design went to USF&W for approval. The design was approved and I was told to have the mew built before the first snow. I figured that to be about 2 weeks.
But after three and a half days, it was done. Now it was still up to USF&W to approve. After a few minor changes, it was approved.
Now I get to work with him at Cindy's house, she was my mentor. I was nervous as all get out, but I survived. After a week or so, Ghost the snowy owl came to his new home. After months of training, I got checked off on presenting Ghost and on March 29, 2007 I did my first presentation.
A lot of things have changed around Ghost and me. Cindy is no longer the Director of Avian Care, but she's still an awesome presenter. I'm back to being single again. I present a great horned owl and a bald eagle in addition to Ghost. I'm very active with Bird TLC. It has a lot of awesome volunteers, a great new staff and they all try to fulfil TLC's mission to their best abilities.
I've had a lot of support from friends and other volunteers. Even volunteers from other organizations and in other states. It's been an awesome 6 years and I consider myself one lucky fellow. Thanks to everyone that's helped along the way, but most of all, Thanks Ghost!
There's a lot of links in this story, but there are a lot more post about Ghost and me on the Bird TLC blog.