Although they’re located in Delta, the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society helps birds of prey from across the province. (Anthony Bucci)

If you find an injured/dead bird of prey, who you gonna call? The Orphaned Wildlife Rehab Society!

The non-profit organization helps more than 700 birds of prey per year and needs more volunteers

Each year, hundreds of birds of prey are injured or killed, however, one B.C. organization is doing what it can to help where it can.

“We do everything here except for major surgery,” said Rob Hope, raptor care manager with Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL).

“Ninety per cent of the cases (we receive) are (from) human-caused factors from cars to power lines, window strikes, rodenticides, and lead poisoning are the major contributors.”

RELATED: Meet Delta’s raptors at OWL open house

“Everything we do as humans has an impact on our wildlife, even if not always directly,” said Jeremy Ferguson, who volunteers with OWL and Elizabeth’s Wildlife Centre in Abbotsford.

We are at the time of year where (birds being hit by cars) will become a more common occurrence with (the animals) finding it harder to find food as it gets colder., (which) also speeds up their metabolism, (making) them that much more hungry,” he continued.

So with more than 700 winged patients brought to them each year, Hope says OWL has its work cut out.

“If you see a bird in need of help, we ask that people give us a call right away,” said the bird care manager. “We’re on call 24 hours a day.”

Birds that end up at OWL for care spend anywhere from one night to nine months at the centre, says Hope. But it’s the care they receive while there that makes the most difference.

“We work with vets to get the animals the best treatment possible,” continued Hope. “The more (the vets do) for the animals, the more the future holds better for them with what they can see and do.”

But how do the birds come to be at OWL? Through the efforts of good samaritans, says Hope.

Once OWL’s been alerted to a bird in need, they’ll send out a volunteer to transport the animal to their facilities. “But we do ask that somebody either stays with the animal, or if able, to wrap it in a blanket, jacket, or coat and contain it until we can get a volunteer there, as in most situations, time is of the essence.”

And as all birds of prey are provincially protected, Hope adds that OWL needs to be notified whether the animal is dead or alive.

RELATED: VIDEO: Owl webcam returns

“They are all owned by Mother Nature or the queen, so the average person can’t have a (bird of prey) dead or alive without a permit,” he explained. However, once OWL’s been notified of a bird in need, the person helping becomes a volunteer working on behalf of OWL’s permit.

“The reason why we like the dead birds (brought in is because) we can get them tested for rodenticides or other environmental issues, which allows us to deal with what may be causing problems,” Hope continued.

But besides calling in any birds who are in need or deceased, Hope says OWL is in need of more volunteers.

With only three or four volunteers in the Chilliwack area, Hope says the organizations is “always looking for more volunteers. Some of it’s here (in Delta) doing bird care, but it’s also stuff like transporting, (which) is big for us.”

And, Hope adds, besides just feeling good for doing good, volunteers who transport birds can submit receipts for mileage.

To report an injured or deceased bird of prey to OWL, please call 604-946-3171, or visit their website at www.owlrehab.org.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack students and staff perform with Steven Point

Chilliwack secondary school students and staff perform song written by former Lieutenant Governor

Open a book and join the Summer Reading Club in Chilliwack

It’s ‘a great opportunity to encourage everyone to read throughout the summer,’ says librarian

Bike lane debris poses safety hazard for cyclist

Resident asks City of Chilliwack to have bike lane cleared and gets speedy response

Chilliwack maternity ward closure narrowed to two weeks

Fraser Health says they’ve found a solution to an expected 13-week shortage of obstetricians

Chilliwack reaction to TMX approval coming in mixed

Feedback has been ranging from outright acceptance to outrage

VIDEO: Weekly roundup of what’s making the news in Chilliwack

Check out what to expect in the June 21 print edition

’When thunder roars, go indoors’: How to keep safe before lightning strikes

Each year, an estimated 10 deaths and as many as 164 injuries are lightning-related

B.C. rolls out online registration to speed up evacuee processing

Central Okanagan district tests province’s streamlined emergency management digital self-registration

VIDEO: After 73 years, siblings separated by adoption reunite in B.C

Donna Smith of Abbotsford and Clayton Myers of Williams Lake are glad they met each other

New Westminster police seek video of fight between two teens

Police responded to a fight at Pier Park in the early hours of June 14

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

Most Read