After highway sign rescue, owls released back into wild

For a blog about transportation, we surprisingly write a lot about birds…

There was the post that explains how nesting birds are protected during construction projects, a video focused on ADOT’s environmental stewardship during migratory bird season and this post about how ADOT keeps birds away from project site water sources.

Now we have today’s video about four great horned owls that were rescued about three months ago from a nest perched on a US 60 highway sign. Liberty Wildlife, a nonprofit organization that provides wildlife rehabilitation and environmental education, fostered the baby owls until they reached an age when they could safely “leave the nest” and make it out there on their own.

“ADOT’s interested in these owls because they were born in ADOT right of way on a sign structure,” says ADOT Environmental Coordinator Lisa Andersen in the video above. “ADOT doesn’t have the resources to take care of animals … but we’re very interested in their well-being. They were rescued and we’ve been monitoring their progress since then.”

Just weeks ago, it was time for these owls to spread their wings and fly. They were released at a Maricopa County park with the hope that they’ll be able to take up residence in the wild and live a long and healthy life.

“This park is excellent, especially for these owls,” she said. “There’s great habitat here with a good food source and we think they’re going to fare really well here.”