On October 9th, this little Pygmy Owl was admitted to our Centre. He was found on the ground in Gibsons unable to fly. We suspect one wing has muscle damage as no broken bones were found. We hope with confinement and rest his wing will heal and we’ll be able to return him to the wild. At the moment he is happy eating a whole mouse every day plus some mealworms for dessert!
After more than three months in care, he was released with another pigmy owl: one in Davis Bay and another in Gibsons.
n November 14th, this Ruffed Grouse was found on the road in Pender Harbour, possibly hit by a vehicle. He was taken to Sechelt Animal Hospital and transferred to us for care.
On arrival he could not hold up his head so we suspected he was suffering from concussion as we could not find any injury. We gave the grouse medication and had to tube-feed him for the next few days as he continued to stand with his head hanging down, hardly moving.
Gradually his condition improved and we recently put him into a larger enclosure as he is now eating on his own. We are hopeful he will be ready for release shortly.
In January, the ruffed grouse was released. See the release in this video.
The ruffed grouse we had in care was recently released. As you can see from the video she did not take long to exit the kennel cab and disappear into the deep forest towards a creek where she was lost sight of completely. When she was admitted we were not sure if she was a male or female but on the day of her release she left an egg in the hay in her cage – so our query was answered! Be safe little grouse and enjoy being back in your forest home.
On August 8th, this gull was found entangled in fishing line. The line was around the gull and a rock, completely trapping the gull.
Thanks to a nearby boater who cut the gull free from the rock and passer-by Siew Sim who removed most of the fishing line, the gull was then brought to us for care.
Unfortunately the gull had swallowed the fishing hook, so we had him X-rayed at Sechelt Animal Hospital to determine where the hook was. The x-ray showed it was embedded far down in the bird’s oesophagus. Our sincere thanks goes to Dr. Heather James and veterinary student Felix Mischko who, along with Clint, tirelessly worked for a number of hours trying to remove the hook, first using an endoscope and flexible clamp and ultimately operating on the gull.
The hook was successfully removed and the gull recovered well after being under care on antibiotics and pain-killers. He was released on August 18th and flew off strongly, circled once, then joined other gulls some distance away. One more successful release, one more life saved!
Please do not discard unwanted fishing line or tackle, this is not the first bird we have had brought to us entangled in it.
When we had a Kingfisher in care, the only food he would eat was very small fish. One day we had some small fish left over and decided to give them to the gulls in our large outside aviary. In the aviary we had a number of crows, including a tame crow, ‘Frankie” who at that time was still quite young. We enjoyed watching Frankie’s antics as he learned how to ”hide” his food. He would grab a piece of food, make a hole in the ground, place the food into it, and then cover the hole with leaves. On occasions he would try hiding the food in other holes he found throughout the aviary.
Frankie likes to sit on the shoulders of the volunteers who clean the aviary and on the day in question, our volunteer, Barbara Lee, was working in the aviary, when Frankie flew on to her shoulder. She then felt something being pushed into her ear by Frankie so immediately retrieved the object. Yes, it was one of the tiny fish! Frankie had noticed Barbara Lee’s ear and decided it was a good hiding place for his food. For some reason Barbara Lee didn’t agree!
On occasion a member of the public will mis-identify a wild bird, but we were surprised to find a renowned ornithologist also made this mistake!
During a nesting survey on the Sunshine Coast, he found a young bird being harassed by a hawk. The ornithologist arranged for the bird, which he identified as a young blue grouse, to be brought to us for care. We had never raised a young grouse before and, after a few weeks, were surprised to see the hint of red appear around his neck area. The young bird continued to grow…. and grow ….. and grow! He changed colours from greyish to speckled brown (was he a ruffed grouse?) to black.
What was he? Soon it became apparent, our young blue grouse was in fact a male TURKEY! Now weighing in at 40 lbs. “Ricky” has become the mascot of the Centre. He follows everyone around in our large aviary and loves a hug! He has even persuaded some people to stop eating turkey – a 40lb turkey can be pretty persuasive!