In 2013 we let Rusty and Iris raise their three owlets to be completely wild, with only the minimum human interaction necessary. The owlets were released to the wild in the fall after developing their adult territorial hoots, wearing transmitters so we could track their dispersal.
For 2014 we plan to let Rusty and Iris raise their owlets until 2-3 weeks of age. Then we will remove them and hand-rear them to become education ambassador owls with a lot of human attention and interaction. We will compare their vocal development to the development of last year's owlets to see if it is similar or different due to rearing methods. After the owlets have developed their adult hoots they will be placed at educational facilities to teach people about owls. This will allow us to track their voices over their lifetime to see if their territorial hoots are stable or change over time.