ReturnsAprilNicolaThis year so far has been a very exciting one especially since we have encountered the most returning owls ever across all of our sites in BC. We have located about 50 owls coming back from migration to the South Okanagan, Nicola Valley and Lac du Bois. This year we released fewer owls than recent years (68 yearlings), but with all the returns this is good news as many of our released birds have paired up with return birds. Currently our nests in the field are starting to hatch.

Again we have hired Lauren Meads and Lia McKinnon to monitor our field sites. We also have a student from Thompson Rivers University Charyl Omelchuk, who is helping out with some of the field monitoring at our sites near Kamloops. We also worked one weekend with the ecological restoration program at British Columbia Institute of Technology, where students came and helped to prep burrows and set up soft release cages for this year’s release.

BCIT STudents

British Columbia Institute of Technology students lending a hand.

We have also come up with a map of our sightings over the last 20 years and it has created a great picture for us as to where the owls are going. We are also continuing our relationship with groups in the United States that are working on burrowing owl conservation, more specifically the Global Owl Project. With this relationship we are aiming to do more research into the migration patterns of the burrowing owl in Canada and in BC.

Read more about burrowing owl recovery