BUCKEYE, Ariz. (KSAZ)
It's a big day for some orphaned Great Horned owls.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department and Liberty Wildlife will be releasing the three birds back into the wild Wednesday night.
The owlets were brought to Liberty Wildlife back in March after a homeowner in Tolleson shot their mother. The owlets were raised by a foster female Great Horned owl and are ready to be released into the wild.
"When they came in they were still too young to know how to survive on their own. They got placed in with Maggie," said Laura Hackett from Liberty Wildlife.
"She's done all the work. She's raised them like her own babies, we have been really hands off with them".
"Maggie basically taught them how to communicate, how to learn to be an owl, how to move once they got old enough to where they were going to. Have to learn how to feed themselves and be on their own. We actually moved them to a larger flight cage where they were learning how to fly, work on their flight muscles, then we moved them to an area where they had to live feed," said Hackett.
"Our goal is to release the wildlife back to the wild we do t want to keep anything we want them flying free."
All of the birds including the owls get a number when they are brought in so when it comes time for the release volunteers and employees will head in there check the numbers to make sure they release the correct owls.
The owls will be released outside of Buckeye in an area called Robbins Butte.
The homeowner who shot the mother pleaded guilty to killing the federally protected bird and recently paid more than $4,000 in restitution.