Open house is for the birds

South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls will host open house Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lauren Meads of the South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls checks the weight of this great horned owl chick at the clinic this week. The centre is hosting its annual open house Sunday to give the public an opportunity to see some of the work that takes place during the rest of the year.

Lauren Meads of the South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls checks the weight of this great horned owl chick at the clinic this week. The centre is hosting its annual open house Sunday to give the public an opportunity to see some of the work that takes place during the rest of the year.

Raptor lovers rejoice.

It’s that time of year again, the one day when the public has the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes at the South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls.

Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors to the facility on Highway 97 north of Oliver will have an opportunity to view the changes to the site as well as some of the resident species which currently call it home.

“We care for a lot of sick and injured raptors and we can’t have people coming to the centre during the rest of the year because we want the birds to get better,” said Lauren Meads, who has been looking after operations for over a year now. “This Sunday will also be an opportunity for us to show off our new (medical) clinic and a chance to do some fundraising as well.”

While the centre does get some grant funding for the larger projects, the cost of the day-to-day work of caring for the birds comes mainly from public donations.

The new clinic is just in the completion stage and will replace the aging structure which has been the aviary hospital since the entire program began 25 years ago.

Other changes for this year’s open house will include a silent auction instead of a garage sale and more educative and interactive components for children and adults.

“I think this is especially important for the kids to learn about the different species of raptors and the work that we do to try and help them,” said Meads.

Also, for the first time this year the public will have a chance to see the captive burrowing owl breeding program in full swing and meet  resident burrowing owl Pilot.

Rounding out the day will be a barbecue and refreshments and a variety of displays and booths dealing with local environmental issues.