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Eurasian eagle owl headed from National Aviary to Virginia Zoo

Andrew Russell
| Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 4:15 p.m.
Carson, one of three Eurasion Eagle Owl chicks bred at the National Aviary this year, looks into the camera during a farewell event for the 3 and a half-month old owl at the National Aviary during a media opportunity before heading off to the the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA, Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Carson, one of three Eurasion Eagle Owl chicks bred at the National Aviary this year, looks into the camera during a farewell event for the 3 and a half-month old owl at the National Aviary during a media opportunity before heading off to the the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA, Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Carson, one of three Eurasion Eagle Owl chicks bred at the National Aviary this year, perches on Cathy Schlott, curator of behavioral management at the National Aviary  during a farewell event for the 3 and  a half-month old owl at the National Aviary during a media opportunity before heading off to the the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA, Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Carson, one of three Eurasion Eagle Owl chicks bred at the National Aviary this year, perches on Cathy Schlott, curator of behavioral management at the National Aviary during a farewell event for the 3 and a half-month old owl at the National Aviary during a media opportunity before heading off to the the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA, Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Carson, one of three Eurasion Eagle Owl chicks bred at the National Aviary this year, shows off his talons during a farewell event for the 3 and  a half-month old owl at the National Aviary during a media opportunity before heading off to the the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA, Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Carson, one of three Eurasion Eagle Owl chicks bred at the National Aviary this year, shows off his talons during a farewell event for the 3 and a half-month old owl at the National Aviary during a media opportunity before heading off to the the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA, Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Carson, one of three Eurasion Eagle Owl chicks bred at the National Aviary this year, looks into the camera during a farewell event for the 3 and a half-month old owl at the National Aviary during a media opportunity before heading off to the the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA, Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Carson, one of three Eurasion Eagle Owl chicks bred at the National Aviary this year, looks into the camera during a farewell event for the 3 and a half-month old owl at the National Aviary during a media opportunity before heading off to the the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA, Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Carson, one of three Eurasion Eagle Owl chicks bred at the National Aviary this year, flies across the room during a farewell event for the 3 and a half-month old owl at the National Aviary during a media opportunity before heading off to the the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA, Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Carson, one of three Eurasion Eagle Owl chicks bred at the National Aviary this year, flies across the room during a farewell event for the 3 and a half-month old owl at the National Aviary during a media opportunity before heading off to the the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA, Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Two Eurasion Eagle Owl chicks bred at the National Aviary this year, sit on display at the National Aviary, Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Two Eurasion Eagle Owl chicks bred at the National Aviary this year, sit on display at the National Aviary, Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The National Aviary on Wednesday said goodbye to Carson, a 3 12-month-old Eurasian eagle owl.

Carson is being transferred from his home on the North Side to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.

He will be part of a stage show at the zoo that will showcase him flying over the audience and then back to his keeper.

He'll be the first owl of his kind at the Virginia Zoo.

Stephanie Peters, program animal coordinator at the Virginia Zoo, said Carson is unique because of his size.

“They are one of the largest owls out there, and it's an owl that people aren't normally going to see in the area,” Peters said. “But it's one that they can relate to like the great horned owl, which they can see in their own backyard.”

Carson was the third eagle owl hatched at the Aviary this year. For several weeks in March, the owl was part of an educational program at the Aviary that allowed members of the public to touch and hold him.

In addition to being a great education program for the public, the program allowed Carson to become acclimated to being around people. The Aviary has two other Eurasian eagle owlets that hatched in mid-March and will eventually be given to zoos.

Andrew Russell is a staff writer with the Tribune-Review.

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