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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:

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