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The two-year-old snowy owl is held after its first test flight since being brought to the Raptor Center on the University of Minnesota campus.

Amanda Snyder, Star Tribune

On repaired wings, snowy owl takes flight at U Raptor Center

  • April 3, 2014 - 5:49 PM

A 2-year-old snowy owl got to test out its repaired wings Wednesday for the first time since being injured in late January in Washington, D.C. The University of Minnesota Raptor Center in St. Paul has been caring for the owl, which was apparently hit by a bus.

During the flight, it was attached to a tether and monitored to see how its wing and leg positions were working. Rehabilitation involved a procedure called “imping” — replacing the useless feathers with leftover ones taken from other birds — to help the owl heal. It is expected to recover completely. The Raptor Center says the owl's prognosis for release is good.

Snowy owls are native to the Arctic but were seen all along the East Coast this winter, as far south as Florida.

For more information about the Raptor Center, go to www.raptor.cvm.umn.edu.

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