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