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Longwood Gardens, Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research Team to Save Screech Owl

March 29, 2014
On the evening of March 24, a Screech Owl found injured on the Longwood Gardens property returned home to Longwood, where it once again took flight.

KENNETT SQUARE, PA – In February, a few days after an ice storm pummeled the region, staff at Longwood Gardens found an injured,  red-morph Eastern Screech Owl. The owl was distressed, its wing partially frozen to the ground. After gingerly freeing the wing, Longwood staff wrapped the owl in a sweatshirt and took it to Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc. in Newark, DE. On the evening of March 24, the Screech Owl returned home to Longwood, where it once again took flight.

“The entire staff of Longwood Gardens is thrilled with the successful rehabilitation and release of the Screech Owl,” said Director Paul B. Redman. “It was a great team effort from the students and staff at Longwood to get the Screech Owl to Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research so quickly. We thank the staff at Tri-State for their expertise and tremendous care.  Without it, the bird would likely not have survived. ”

For four weeks, the staff at Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research treated the owl for dehydration, frostbite, and skin and feather damage. The Screech Owl responded well to the rehabilitation efforts and was released back into the wild near where it was first discovered. This is the first successful release back into the wild of a previously injured bird at Longwood.  The bird has been banded on his left leg for identification purposes.

 “We are delighted that we could rehabilitate this owl and return it to its home territory,” said Lisa Smith, Tri-State’s executive director. “We have had a long-standing relationship with Longwood Gardens, and we appreciate their dedication to all aspects of the natural world.”

The Eastern Screech Owl is a small owl, only 6.5-10” tall, and weighing only 4.5-8.5 ounces. Despite its diminutive size, it is a fierce predator, and helps control the mice and vole population. Longwood Gardens’ Natural Lands Team manages Longwood’s land to retain standing dead trees and owl boxes that this type of owl uses for its home. This effort is just one of the many sustainable practices employed at Longwood.

About Longwood Gardens

In 1906, industrialist Pierre du Pont (1870-1954) purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, PA, to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Throughout his life, Mr. du Pont indulged his passion for gardening, turning his farm into a magnificent horticultural showplace. Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great gardens, encompassing 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and a 4-acre conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by Mr. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education and the arts, through programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances by leading artists, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship and cultural and community engagement. For more information, visit

About Tri State Rescue & Research, Inc.

The mission of Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research is to achieve excellence in the rehabilitation of injured, orphaned, and oiled native wild birds, with the goal of returning healthy birds to their natural environment. We do this through compassionate care, humane research, and education. Learn more about our mission and operations at