Thursday November 18, 2010

Feature Story

Rehabilitating The Wild

Eagle soars after being nursed back to health by OWL Society

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


Ralph Day (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 Day 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.


The Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival happens on Nov 20 & 21, 2010 and will have 4 eagle viewing sites and 8 activity sites this year. The festival goes rain, shine or snow. Over 2500 of the impressive raptors were counted on the day of the release from the eagle boat tour in the estuary.

To find more information on the festival visit the website  or call Jo-Anne Chadwick, Mission Tel# 604-826-7361.

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