Two malnourished snowy owls, recently found in Kelowna, have been released back into the wild after being brought back to health by an organization in the South Okanagan that looks after sick and injured birds of prey.
The owls—one found near the Kelowna SPCA a few week ago—were released in an open area near the end of Gordon Drive late Tuesday afternoon.
A group of about 30 people who heard about the release gathered to watch.
The executive manger of the South Okanagan Recovery Centre for Owls, Lauren Meads drove the birds up to the Kelonwa area from the centre’s Oliver headquarters.
She said when the birds arrived at SORCO a few weeks ago, they weighed about one kilogram each. During their stay at SORCO, eating a diet of three small critters a day, they doubled their weight. They were released in the south Mission area in the hope they will not only find food but also join other owls believed to be in the area.
Dave Whitton, a board member with SORCO said an increasing number of snowy owls have been seen in southern B.C. recently, likely because of a lack of food in their natural habitat which is the Arctic.
Blending in to the snowy backdrop, the birds flew out of the cages with little hesitation and while one flew away, the other landed a short distance from the crowd on hand and sat in the snow for a while before flying off.