Owlets Doogie and Howser following their arrival at SORCO Raptor Rehabilitation Centre last April. The pair have since been released back into the wild. (Contributed)

Great horned owls returned to the wild in the South Okanagan

Great horned owls plucked by crows from their nest last April have been released back into the wild

A pair of young great horned owls were recently returned to the wild in Okanagan Falls.

Doogie and Howser, named after the main character of the Doogie Howser, M.D. television series, were set free by manager Dale Belvedere of the SORCO Raptor Rehab Centre at Stag’s Hollow Winery.

The pair had spent the last three months with SORCO after crows plucked the owlets from their nest and dropped them the ground on nearby Island Road.

“One was just seven days old and the other one was 10 days, one had just opened its eyes and the other hadn’t yet,” said Belvedere, who added this species of owl often takes over other birds’ nests in the spring.

“This is very common. Great horned owls can’t build their own nests because of the shape of their beaks. It could be anybody’s nest, crows, red-tails (hawks). So when these birds come back, they want their nests back and they fight for it. That’s what happened in this situation,” she said. “We could clearly see the crows swarming the nest when we went to pick up the first baby and the parents were a couple of branches up just going crazy.”

READ MORE: Birds of a feather flock together at Okanagan raptor recovery centre open house

About 75 people attended the release at Stag’s Hollow and the winery is donating this season’s tasting fees to SORCO.

According to Belvedere, the site was an ideal spot to set the birds of prey free.

READ MORE: Taste of freedom for B.C. owls who recovered from poisoning

“We know the vineyards are full of rodents so there’s no question about food for them. It doesn’t mean they’ll stay there but at least they have a food source while they’re there,” she said. “Chances are there may not be many owls in the area so that’s great if we can get the population up in certain areas.”


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

 

A young great horned owl flies the coup after being released back into the wild. (Contributed)

One of two great horned owls released at Stag’s Hollow Winery collects its bearings in the vineyard. (Contributed)

Just Posted

Two drowning incidents on Okanagan Lake serve as safety reminder

B.C. drowning fatalities down compared to August 2018

New Penticton/Kelowna transit route ready to roll out

Route 70 Penticton/Kelowna will provide a direct trip to Kelowna from Penticton and Summerland

South Okanagan powwow strikes a chord on the human level for federal minister

Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan was the special guest at powwow

South Okanagan pays it forward to BC Wildfire Service firefighters

Community members thank Eagle Bluff firefighters through Tim Hortons donations

Penticton students receive over $46,000 in bursaries

Twenty-two students will receive the Community Foundation bursaries for the 2019 school-year

It’s back! Aritzia releases annual warehouse sale dates

Your favourite summer end sale is back and ready to take your money

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Black bear kills donkey in Revelstoke, put down by RCMP

Conservation Officer says once they attack livestock they are a danger to the public

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab in Surrey

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Shuswap SPCA seeks funds to treat dog that may lose an eye

Two surgeries for severe eye infection unsuccessful, removal a consideration

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival exceeds expectations

Artists, attendees and organizers praise effort behind successful event

Most Read