Lincoln (left) and Nora (right). (Ward Tower/Contributed)

Baby bird in distress rescued by Kelowna children

A brother and sister in Black Mountain save an immobile fledgling, bring it to a sanctuary

Two Kelowna children saved a baby bird’s life on Monday — with mom and dad’s help.

Nora Tower (eight years old) and her brother Lincoln (11 years old) were playing with the dog in the backyard of their family’s Black Mountain home when she heard chirping.

“I went under the cedar trees and saw it,” Nora told the Capital News. “It was a goldfinch, just a little baby. I tried to keep him safe because my puppy was sniffing [the bird].”

Nora and Lincoln immediately told their parents of the discovery.

“We had to make some calls to figure out where to bring a little bird because we have never had to do that before,” the childrens’ father Ward Tower explained.

After searching around, the Towers brought the bird to a local sanctuary, which will release the bird back into the wild within the next few weeks.

“It was in good shape. If its mouth is yellow, it’s not really hungry but if it’s red, it’s really hungry. Buddy’s mouth was red,” said Nora.

“She nicknamed the bird Buddy,” her father added.

Although Buddy was seemingly healthy, he wasn’t moving or flapping his wings which had Nora and Lincoln worried.

The sanctuary told Nora and Lincoln it will feed and take care of the bird before releasing him, which put them at ease.

The staff at the sanctuary told the Towers that if there was one bird, there are likely others. Goldfinch birds often nest close to the ground, so the family went back into their backyard to search for a nest and to see if any other birds needed their help, but no nest was anywhere to be found.

“They usually nest close to the ground, but we never found one,” said dad.

According to the BC SPCA, it’s common to see healthy-looking birds on the ground that can’t fly in the spring/summer months. These young birds are called fledglings. Birds at this age are just learning how to fly.

“The parent birds are usually close by for protection but will not feed the fledglings as often. This makes the young birds hungry, so they hop out of the nest to explore,” the BC SPCA website states.

However, if the bird doesn’t seem to be moving much and is close to cats or dogs that may hurt it, the BC SPCA recommends you call them for help.

Nora said the sanctuary had another goldfinch it was saving and she would put Buddy with it so that he isn’t lonely.

Nora said the experience taught her and her brother to “Always help an animal.”

READ MORE: $185k in grants to go to five different Kelowna youth programs

READ MORE: Kelowna Paddle Centre hosts open house this weekend