OWL sees increase in injured, starving birds

Cold, wet weather and lack of food to blame

OWL board member Ralph Smith holds Oreo

OWL board member Ralph Smith holds Oreo

Bad weather and lack of food is being blamed for the 60 per cent increase in injured and starving birds brought into Delta’s Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) for rehabilitation this year.

“Last year at this time we had 140 birds and right now we have 238,” said Bev Day, OWL founder. “The only thing we can think of for this is the weather.”

Day explained that the unseasonably cold and wet weather may have impacted the population of small animals, such as field mice, which birds of prey depend on as a food source. Water-drenched fields earlier this year may have drowned out many of those animals.

“Lots of birds are coming in starving,” Day said. “Other than that, we get lots that are injured through inter-species fighting. Probably because of lack of food.”

Last Thursday (July 21), OWL released a juvenile female bald eagle, which was brought in mid-June after it fell out of its nest near the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. The now four-month-old eagle used to be seen on the Hancock Wildlife Foundation’s live-streaming webcam, under Deltacam 2.

Named Oreo, the eagle was underweight and spent a month in rehab. After she was released from OWL, located near Boundary Bay airport, she flew southeast, but then curved to the north, slowly fading in the distance as she flew towards the Vancouver landfill.

OWL plans to release another eagle and possibly an owl during their open house on Aug. 27 and 28. This event replaces the annual Spring Hootenanny fundraiser, which was cancelled in March.

Surrey North Delta Leader