Search This Blog

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Birds and The Bear

There have been several reports of bear sightings in the Berry Point area over the last couple of days. The Conservation Officer (CO) has confirmed that the scat does indeed look like that of a bear.

Picture of bear scat provided by GROWLS

If you see the bear, please call the RAPP line at 1-877 -952-7277. The CO would like to keep track of the bear just to make sure no problems arise.

Note that bears like birdseed! So if you are concerned about having him in your yard it might be a good idea to take down any bird feeders.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Baby Bird Tips

Thank you to GROWLS for providing the following suggestions
about what to do if you find a baby bird.   

GROWLS Pager: 250-714-7101

If a nestling is out of its nest
If the bird is cold to the touch, warm it by gently holding in hands. When warm, replace in nest. DO NOT FEED!

If both the nestling and nest are ‘down’
Tie nest back in tree in about the same place, if possible. Use heavy twine because bird can get entangled in thin string. If the nest is torn apart, make a new one out of a margarine tub lined with dryer ling, DRY leaves, or shredded paper towel. Do not use grass, mud, or cotton. Place drainage holes in the bottom of the tub. Tie nest back in tree using heavy twine. Watch from a distance. If parent birds have not returned in two hours, call GROWLS.

If you see a fledgling (feathered but cannot yet fly) on the ground without its parent
Birds often fledge, or jump from the nest, a few days before they can fly. The parents will continue to care for them on the ground until the babies can fly. Leave the fledgling alone unless it appears to be injured or sick. Keep children and animals away. If someone has already picked up the fledgling, put it in a bush or low branch of a tree near where it was found. If the parents are not back in 4-6 hours, call GROWLS.

Fledged white-crowned Sparrow at Folklife Village last summer.
Not to worry, mother was close by - see next photo.  

Mother keeping close watch

If you see an orphaned or precocial baby with no parent nearby
If the bird is running around the yard, leave it alone. Keep children and animals away. The parent is likely nearby. If the baby has wandered into a building and is separated from its parents, put it outside and watch from a distance for the parents to come. If the baby appears weak or sick, call GROWLS.

GROWLS Pager: 250-714-7101

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eagle & Owl Released Today!

This afternoon more than twenty islanders gathered to watch as a Barn Owl and a Bald Eagle came home to Gabriola to be released close to where they were initially rescued. Both birds had been injured in the wild, rescued by GROWLS, and taken off-island for treatment and rehabilitation.

The Barn Owl, a species of special concern, is a rare resident in the southeastern Vancouver Island region. This one was released at the end of Dorby Road off Peterson.

Barn Owl ready for release back into the forest

Bye-bye cage! (Photo thanks to Tawny Capon)

I'm outa' here! (Photo by Tawny Capon)

As soon as the owl flew into the woods (after relieving himself after the long car ride!) crows and ravens began makng themselves known. Perhaps they were letting everyone know an old neighbour had returned home?

This Bald Eagle, released today at Brickyard Beach, is the FIRST one ever to be rescued on Gabriola, taken off-island for treatment and rehabilitation, then successfully returned to the island for release. So today was very special ...

A good crowd gathered at Brickyard Beach to honour and quietly cheer on the eagle.
(Photo thanks to Tawny Capon)

A wet feet beginning. (Photo by Tawny Capon)

Off he goes! (Photo by Tawny Capon)

A Few Bald Eagle facts:
  • This most majestic of birds is a common resident of the southern coast of BC
  • Eagles don't mate until they have their characteristic white head and tail feathers, at about four or five years old
  • When they do mate, it's for life
  • Many reuse their nests year after year, adding sticks each season until the nest is massive!
  • Their chicks are hatching now - or very very soon!

For more about the Bald Eagle check out the GROWLS website: