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Rehabilitating The Wild

Wildlife News

Eagle soars after being nursed back to health by OWL Society

Submitted by Jo-Ann Chadwick, FV Bald Eagle Festival Society       


Ralph Smith (O.W.L.) releases Bella Wednesday at Kilby near Harrison. Photos submitted.


ith only 2 days to go before the 15th Annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival there is no better time for a young eagle to be released back into the wild to soar among thousands of its own kind.


In August 2009 near the Vancouver Dump an injured eagle was spotted by David Hancock, of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation, and his assistant Karen Bills. The young eagle, now affectionately know as "Bella" was in obvious distress and unable to fly. Hancock managed to corral the raptor against the bushes and safely capture the wounded creature.


The next stop would be to see Bev Day of O.W.L. (Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society) as the bald eagle would not be able to survive in the wild if left on it's own. As it turned out this was not Bella's first time at O.W.L. She was found previously injured in the Yukon, and after being treated at O.W.L. was released in April 2009.


                                      David Hancock captures Bella the eagle later nursed by O.W.L.


Fast forward to November 17th on a rainy day when "Bella" would once again take flight in front of a large group of school children and adults. Day with the help of her husband Ralph Smith carried the caged bird down to the river's edge and in a few brief moments, opened the cage door, walked to a safe spot and released the eagle back into its natural habitat.


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Rehabilitating The Wild - Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival - Nov 18 2010.htm

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Eagle release opens annual festival

Wildlife News



It's a wetter than usual November day, with unrelenting rain. But more than 100 people are gathered at Kilby Beach, near Agassiz.

A large crate is lugged down to the sand, gingerly carried by two volunteers.

Children from Deroche elementary school run and play in the muck, ignoring the ceremonial First Nations welcoming. But when the crate is ready to be opened, they quiet down, and wait.

Slowly, carefully, a large mottled eagle is eased out of the crate. Volunteer Ralph Smith is dwarfed by the massive bird, named Bella. He cradles her in his arms and shows the crowd.

And then, on the count of three, he turns toward the Harrison River, and lets her go.

Bella pushes off, takes the air, and makes it to a low-lying tree on the other shore. The three-year-old eagle is free.

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Tangled eagles

Wildlife News



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Goat that killed Wash. hiker known as aggressive

Wildlife News


A mountain goat that fatally gored a hiker, then stood over the man and stared at people trying to help, had shown aggressive behavior in the past, Olympic National Park officials said Monday.

Associated Press Writer


A mountain goat that fatally gored a hiker, then stood over the man and stared at people trying to help, had shown aggressive behavior in the past, Olympic National Park officials said Monday.

Robert Boardman, 63, of Port Angeles, died Saturday after he was attacked by the goat while hiking on the subalpine Switchback Trail in the park. The trail is popular with residents of nearby Port Angeles, which is about 85 miles west of Seattle.

Park rangers later found the goat, observed blood on it and shot the animal.

Rangers have been tracking the goat and others for the past four years because they have followed people or approached hikers without backing down, said park spokeswoman Barb Maynes.

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N.S. bounty on coyotes to begin

Wildlife News

 When David Hancock does his presentation about bald eagles, he tells the sad, sad tale of the near eradication of eagles in the Pacific Northwest by governments who considered them vermin and paid a bounty for each pair of talons turned in. I thought those days were long gone ... 


SYDNEY, N.S. - A coyote bounty begins Friday in Nova Scotia after provincewide reports of aggressive encounters, including a fatal attack on a young woman in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The province will pay licensed trappers $20 per pelt and is training 15 trappers to specifically target coyotes that have lost their fear of humans.

Provincial biologist Mike Boudreau said that in cases of coyote aggression, the province will trap on Crown and private lands after first seeking approval of the landowner.

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Nova Scotia puts bounty on 'aggressive' Coyotes

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Seagull Deaths at San Francisco Port

Wildlife News 

By: Katie Worth
Examiner Staff Writer
October 12, 2010

Bay Area biologists are working together to figure out why so many seagulls have been found dead this year near Pier 94. (AP file photo)

A sharp increase in dead seagulls found on three acres of Port of San Francisco land has city and state officials launching an investigation into why the birds are dying.

Occasional dead birds have shown up in years past at the land near Pier 94 just south of Cesar Chavez Street. In the past year, however, the number has taken an abrupt and mysterious flight upward.

Biologists from the Port of San Francisco, Animal Care and Control, the state Department of Fish and Game, and the Golden Gate Audubon Society are working together to get to the bottom of the matter.

Some of the birds were found with animal grease on their bodies, which soaks through feathers and makes them vulnerable to water and cold. Oiled birds commonly die of hypothermia, said Jay Holcomb of the Fairfield-based International Bird Rescue Research Center.

Holcomb said that California Fish and Game biologists are investigating whether the birds may be somehow finding a way into the animal rendering plant owned by Darling International. The facility processes hundreds of millions of tons of animal fat, bones and other products each year into tallow, which is then sold to soap and cosmetics manufacturers or turned into animal food.


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Rare Green Heron Sighted in Lost Valley

Wildlife News

6th October 2010

Link to the Article

A wave of excitement spread across The Lost Gardens of Heligan, on the morning of Wednesday 6th October, as an incredibly rare sighting of a Green Heron in the Lost Valley was recorded by Heligan’s wildlife team. The bird has now been seen for a third day (Friday 8th October).

Whilst taking his daily wildlife checks of the gardens and estate Bob Mitchell spotted an unusual looking bird on the edge of the lake in Heligan’s Lost Valley. On further investigation Bob and the wildlife team discovered that the images Bob had captured were in fact of a Green Heron, only ever seen 3 other times in Cornwall!

“My eye was first caught by the unusual plumage of the bird and I realised it deserved closer investigation, on doing so I realised it was a heron but not one that should be here at Heligan or even in fact in the UK. It was a very exciting experience and I was totally elated to be in the presence of such an unusual bird.” Said Bob Mitchell from Heligan’s wildlife team.


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Bald eagles released from death grip

Wildlife News



Last Updated: Friday, September 24, 2010 | 8:02 AM

These two eagles were locked together on a lawn outside Charlottetown and allowed people to approach them.These two eagles were locked together on a lawn outside Charlottetown and allowed people to approach them. (Sheila Stretch)

Wildlife officials on P.E.I. released two battling bald eagles that had locked their talons together on the weekend.

'I had a horned owl that actually put its talons right through my left hand, in three places. I know what it feels like.'— Gerald MacDougall, wildlife manager

The eagles were discovered Saturday night on a front lawn by people arriving at a party in Long Creek, just west of Charlottetown.

"They were in distress because they were flopping trying to get apart," said Leith Stretch, one of the people who discovered the birds.

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