Summer Star® Wildlife Releases

Check Out Our Blog Post About Our Newest Release!

Click the Image to Read About The Newest Release

Please click this link to see our video of the owl’s release
Video Credit: Eric Lin

Photo Credit: Emily Eaton

“Jess Zorge, TUFTS Wildlife Clinic Assistant, brought in the Great Horned Owl and had her released into the woods. This owl was a female and was big and beautiful! She was released near the beginning of our trail. When she took off, instead of flying high she made a sharp right turn –spreading out her long feathered wings flying silently low and fast. She picked up her speed heading into the woods and within no time she was gone. When she picked up speed flying fast, right away a smaller bird came out of nowhere quickly started chasing after her and both of them just disappeared.

We had TUFTS faculty and a few friends took very nice pictures. One friend recorded a video. It was really fun because a news reporter from the local newspaper came out and watched the whole thing with us. He interviewed Jess and he took pictures too. I am confident that this story of the Great Horned Owl reclaiming her freedom shall hit the newspaper next week and we will all read it! –Shalin”

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Summer Star Wildlife Sanctuary partners with The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and its Wildlife Clinic to release rehabilitated wildlife into their natural habitats. In an effort to ensure that certain wildlife will continue to thrive in the most favorable native environment, each release is carefully planned in order to accommodate the specific wildlife for a successful reintroduction into nature. Besides consideration for the location and the habitat environment, there are other factors for the Vet School to consider such as:

(1 ) Suitable temperatures. Especially in winter weather.

(2) The time for release needs to be favorable for the specific species. (An owl, for example, needs to be released during dusk. That is their “morning time”, the time for the owl to look for a new safe location for itself).

(3) A particular season. The season needs to be timed appropriately in order for certain wildlife to engage in their migration process. Otherwise, the wildlife needs to stay at the Wildlife Clinic until the next appropriate season.

Wildlife Release Activities

June 17, 2017 Barred Owl Release. South Terrace Trail 6PM

“JUNE IS THE MONTH FOR THE BARRED OWL”      –BY JESSICA ZORGE, Wildlife Program Assistant, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health

Today we released an adult female Barred Owl. The Barred Owl was brought in from Hubbardston about three months ago after being hit by a car. The owl sustained a significant amount of head trauma so was with us for quite some time and then one week of recuperating in the Shalin Liu Healing Cage. We decided to release now because this is the time they are the most active. It will acclimate and then get back into the night hours and hopefully find some dinner tonight. Here at Summer Star we feel is a perfect situation to release wildlife—-it is a beautiful land;  there are so many acres for them to find food, and hopefully continue to heal and get back into the wild. Barred owls are the second to largest species of owls in Massachusetts.  The Wildlife Clinic at Tufts University sees over three thousand patients a year; every year it seems like we are breaking records. Right now we are at fifteen hundred patients so far and it is only mid- June. We see all sorts of mammals, reptiles, and birds. Every day we just have no idea what is coming through the door so every day is unique and special. We are so glad we can come here to Summer Star and find them a home to get back into the wild.   ———June 17, 2017 6pm




March 19, 2015 Red-Tailed Hawk Release. Wildflower Meadow 10:00 am

Please click here to watch the release video

“The release of the red-tail hawk was deeply meaningful to me.  It was a bright, crisp morning there in the forest.  I tried to write about it but found it difficult to really capture the experience.  When Liam identified the red-shouldered hawk I was elated, thrilled to see and experience the three birds in one frame – 2 red-tailed hawks and 1 red-shouldered hawk together waiting for the drama to unfold.  The red-tailed hawk and the red-shouldered hawk flew away, one appearing to chase the other and then the healed bird spread its wings to full span and swooped away in the other direction.  It was wonderful to see – a healed bird released back into nature.  It was a morning of sublime quality.  Thanks for having the event at Summer Star!”

L.Engbers, Whitinsville, MA