The OWL Facility specializes in raptors. Birds of prey patients at OWL number over four hundred each year and as OWL’s facilities have expanded, so has the intake. Primary care for injured birds, ie. injections, tube feeding, and initial treatment of broken bones to stabilize, is administered by Staff and volunteers trained through seminars given by veterinarians from the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. Veterinary care, ie. surgery involving the pinning of fractures, removal of bullets, etc. is thankfully donated by Huff Animal Hospital, Richmond Animal Hospital, and Tsawwassen Animal Hospital. OWL pays only for medications. OWL attempts to find breeding programs for the non-releasable birds of prey so their young can be released to the wild.
Birds of prey are sent to OWL from all over British Columbia, other provinces and the U.S.A. The majority of birds arrive from the Lower Mainland. Although they encourage the public to transport injured or orphaned birds to the facility, OWL has a network of volunteers when pick-up is necessary.
OWL continues to expand the programs and the facility through public donations and the support of companies who provide sponsorships, materials and supplies. In 1995, OWL undertook the development of an Interpretation Centre to enhance the educational programs and to increase public awareness of birds of prey, their habitat and environmental impact.
Over forty birds of prey are permanent residents and some assist with educational programs. With respect to these programs, currently the Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Delta, Langley, Surrey and surrounding school districts routinely visit the facility for field trips each week. 300-500 elementary school children visit monthly to have a close-up view of the permanent birds including owls, hawks and eagles. A twenty minute video and/or visual aids are part of the one hour tour. Also visiting regularly are Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Guides. OWL offers the many community and educational programs by donation or honorarium. Elementary field trips are by donation or honorarium and they now offer an offsite education program called “Owls in the Classroom.” Where OWL is out in the schools five days a week, educating the children about the importance of birds in our environment, and what we can do to help these very important birds in the future. OWL is now an accredited Society; helping University Veterinary students obtain skills in the Raptor Rehabilitation Department. The University of Melbourne Australia, Taiwanese University, Douglas College and BCIT are some of the Schools they assist.
Since the 1987 school year, OWL has been involved in a student learn and work program with Senior Secondary Schools. Biology students come to OWL for one month. “OWL” is an extension of a course which offers actual work experience in technical and scientific fields. The Mental Health Association utilizes the facility for some of their clients to learn job skills. Human Resources refers persons to OWL to get their additional hours of work as well as job training. Through the Justice System, juvenile and adult offenders are scheduled to work out their community hours imposed by the courts. Youth Corp participants have helped with the construction of O.W.L’s Care Centre and received oil spill training.
O.W.L was the proud recipient of the 1990 Minister’s Environmental Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in the protection and enhancement of the British Columbia environment. More recently, in June of 1999, O.W.L received the same award in the “Community and Non-Profit Organization” category. O.W.L volunteers participate in municipal and regional park displays. Slide and video presentations are shown at the Vancouver Science Centre, malls and for senior groups to promote protection of the environment and to prevent injuries encountered by wildlife. The Society has been host to U.S. rehabilitation centre volunteers, which gives the organization an opportunity to exchange ideas and to respond to requests to provide lectures, instruction and information.
Under the direction of founding director Bev Day who has been caring for birds since 1978. Upon request, she now gives lectures and training programs to S.P.C.A. members and the Ministry of Environment and Parks personnel.
The Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society is a non-profit organization whose volunteers are dedicated to public education and the rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned birds. OWL became a Society in January 1985 and is licensed through Fish and Wildlife. OWL is on call seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Public tours are held every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 2:30pm.
VOLUNTEER FOR THE BIRDS
Volunteers mean everything to OWL. If you have a genuine interest in helping wildlife, especially birds of prey, OWL needs your help. Experience is not necessary, just the willingness to learn. Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age. Visit the Volunteer Program page to see their many volunteer activities. This is an important and unique opportunity to learn about the care and handling of birds. OWL is always accepting volunteer applications.
DATES OF OPERATION
September to June – OWL is open for public tours on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am to 3:00pm. OWL is closed on holidays. Bookings are not require for groups of 8 or less. For larger groups, please call so they can arrange a tour for you.
July to August – OWL is open for public tours Monday to Sunday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. OWL is closed on holidays. Bookings are not required for groups of 8 or less. For larger groups, please call so they can arrange a tour for you.
Have an injured or orphaned bird of prey? Please call OWL immediately at 604.946.3171
O.W.L (Orphaned Wildlife) Rehabilitation Society
3800 72nd Street Delta, BC V4C 6J3
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