Six chubby little burrowing owls were welcomed into the wild this weekend with drumming, singing, and prayer as the Upper Nicola Band hosted its first reintroduction of the endangered birds.
Under sunny skies on April 10, 2016, the three pairs of yearlings got their first glimpse of their new burrows on a reserve near Merritt, BC, and apparently liked what they saw.
“The minute they see the hole, they shoot down it very, very quickly. It’s an instinctive behaviour,” explained Mike Mackintosh, president of the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of B.C.
“It was really exciting to see our Chief Harvey McLeod release the first bird. It was not only exciting, it was kind of emotional for all community members that were present,” said the Upper Nicola Band’s cultural heritage project manager, Bernadette Manuel.