People cheered for snowy owl Century, released at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

Norman Smith stood in front of more than 100 people on Plum Island Saturday afternoon with a majestic snowy owl in his hand. The owl, dubbed Century, was the 100th snowy owl captured at Logan International Airport, relocated, and released this winter.

Smith, director of the Massachusetts Audubon Society Blue Hills Trailside Museum and an owl expert, let Century go. Her wings spread and rapidly flapped to elevate her high above the gathered group. The strong wind took her, and she glided gracefully out over the dunes and marshes of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge until she was out of sight.

Although Century was the 100th snowy owl captured at Logan, Smith said 36 owls were also caught in other locations, bringing the total to 136. Last year, Smith said, a total of eight were captured.

Every owl caught for relocation is banded with a satellite transmitter — a lightweight device banded to the owl’s back to track its travels with a GPS signal. The small box does not cause the owl pain or discomfort, and the signal can last 11 years, Smith said. With the devices, Smith, Turner, and others can track each owl’s journey and study patterns.

The oldest owl found with a transmitter was 16 years old, he said. Smith has been tracking the owls he catches with transmitters since 1997, which provide data on location, temperature, and altitude of each journey.

“Why do they come to the airport?” asked Smith. “I’ve caught over 560 snowy owls in the past 32 years, I’ve asked every single one, none have responded.”


Responses to "100th snowy owl caught at Logan Airport freed into wild (Video)"

  1. B Filip says:

    That is such a beautiful Bird...Thank you for saving them...

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