Birdie business: Kelowna woman hunts for golf balls nabbed off course by ravens

The ravens get the balls from Tower Ranch Golf and Country Club

Every year, during spring, something bizarre happens at the Tower Ranch Golf and Country Club.

Ravens come, take abandoned golf balls and drop them all over the course — as well as areas outside of it.

That’s how Kelowna resident Jude Bowman was able to collect about 175 golf balls, by picking up the balls ravens dropped.

She said it’s like an Easter egg hunt for golfers and walkers like her.

“You see the ravens flying around with the golf balls in their beaks and they just drop them helter-skelter,” she said.

“I walk a lot every day and I collect the golf balls along my way.”

Bowman added her neighbours also collect golf balls during their walks.

“We collect the balls and keep them. When you play golf, you lose a lot of them,” Bowman explained.

Tower Ranch’s general manager James Cronk said they don’t know why it happens, just that it happens every spring.

“We think it’s because the golf balls look shiny in the grass, and they get attracted by that so they pick them up,” he said. “Or, it might be that they look like eggs so they want to take it with them.”

He added that fortunately, they haven’t received reports of people being injured when the ravens drop the balls. Black Press Media reached out to several other golf courses in Kelowna, but they don’t have the same issue.

As for Bowman, she’s happy about her golf ball collection. She said picking them up while on her walks is good entertainment, and washing them when she gets home is a good way to pass the time.

Tower Ranch Golf Course opens April 29, for the season.

We have reached out to the Conservation Officer Service to ask if this is the usual raven behaviour and will update this story once more information is available.

READ: West Kelowna vet now offering COVID-19 testing for pets

READ: West Kelowna app developer offers free take-out apps to B.C. restaurants

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
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