Sunday, April 26, 2009

Today the family and i made a nice little Sunday trip to the open house at S.O.R.C.O. or the South Okanagan Rehabilitation Center for Owls. All animals hold a strong place in my heart but birds are especially dear to me. This center is almost entirely run by volunteer resources, funds and supplies. If you love owls like i do, please take a moment to check out their website and see what you can do to help out -- particularly if you are in the Okanagan region of BC Canada.

S.O.R.C.O is located about 12 KM north of Oliver BC and they do incredible work helping rehabilitate raptors that are injured or have fallen from nests or become ill etc. They often take in birds who have fed on carrion on roadsides and been hit by cars. Sometimes bald eagles will eat so much that they can no longer fly! Wherever possible, the center releases the birds back into the wild. They are also trying to start up a breeding and reintroduction of burrowing owls to the South Okanagan. This is a project near and dear to my heart as i adore burrowing owls! They are no longer present in the region due to encroachment on their lands by people, orchards and vineyards and due to a lack of the animals which burrowing owls like to make homes out of their dens. Badgers for example are no longer found in the area.

It really is a precious habitat here. The Okanagan is not the kind of land most people think about when they hear "Canada".

Arid, sagebrush and grasses on sandy and or rocky soil make up the region. It really is a little slice of dessert. The flora and fauna of the area are rare to find in Canada. It's one of the many reasons i love living here. The fantastic weather doesn't hurt either!

Here is a bald eagle that was rescued by the sanctuary. He came in with a collapsed lung. He is faring much better now. Such beauty!

Some owls at the center showing that owls really don't like being bothered when they are sleepy, nor do they like a tidy room. Reminds me of my daughter!

S.O.R.C.O breeds many different types of rodents for food for the raptors. This is a necessity due to the plans of releasing the recouperated birds. If they are unsure of what is food or how to catch and eat it, they will not survive in the wild. Many of the birds that are rescued are infants when brought in. A little sad because this little baby mouse was painfully cute!

Mice like him grow up however to keep little owls like this guy Charlie alive. Charlie was near death from starvation when he was brought in. He had to be fed through a tube initially. While there today, we watched as Charlie scarfed down a mouse like it was a cheeseburger and complain hungrily for more.

They had face painting as well as a band, a barbecue and a garage sale at the open house. I got a wicked strawberry cookie jar, a 60's fisher price school bus and some starwars fabric for next to nothing. Woo HOO!

Here my son Henry is getting an orange owl painted at his request by a very nice lady.

One more owl to remind you that we can all help out in our own way with our time, our money or our spirit to make a change in our world or our community. For the next 6 weeks, i will donate 10 % of all proceeds from my Etsy store to S.O.R.C.O.

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