Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Creance Kind of Day

A Creance line is used frequently by Bird of Prey Rehabilitors and Falconers. 

The Creance line usually consists of a bird being fitted with anklets and jesses, which in turn is attached to a predetermined length of string and weight. The weight slows or drags the bird in flight to allow it to control it's landing. This system allows the bird flight in order to determine if it is in top condition to be returned to the Wild.

Volunteer Bob Warbin preparing to work a Great Horned Owl on creance line

Volunteers Craig Lanham, Devon Lanham, Bob Warbin, and Intern Estephy Sabin were given the task to perform Creance Line work on two Great Horned Owls, and one Cooper's Hawk.  These Beautiful birds have all been patients of the WBS Hospital

The first Great Horned Owl flew beautifully, making its flights seem effortless. A really incredible thing to watch!

Our first Great Horned Owl ready for it's first creance flight

The Coopers Hawk did not fare as well. This bird has been treated for a wing injury and was not getting full extension on one wing, making it's flights difficult. It was determined after a few tries to return this little guy back to the Hospital for further evaluation.

Attaching a creance line to a Cooper's Hawk's jesses

The Next Great Horned Owl flew well. She had sustained a broken wing and spent many weeks in the Hospital recovering. After a few short flights she began panting heavily--a sign of being in a weakened physical state due to her long recovery.  It was great to see her getting full extension of the wing that had been broken.  She will need more conditioning before she can be released.  She is a big Owl and has an amazing set of feet and talons that any Bird of Prey would envy !

The impressive feet and talons of a Great Horned Owl

The day was fantastic.  The work was done with great passion and care.  It is the sincere hope and determination of everyone involved that these Ultimate Flyers can be returned from whence they came ....returned to the wild !

To find out how YOU can become a part of returning one of these beautiful creatures to the wild, click HERE to learn more about our “Return to the Wild" program.

To take part in a “Return to the Wild” email or call (636) 861-1392 or

Submitted by Craig Lanham, World Bird Sanctuary volunteer

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