VIDEO: Kestrel chicks released into wild bring a happy end to wildfire season

Work crews on frontlines of worst wildlife season in B.C. history helped save two birds

Two kestrel chicks who got out miraculously unscathed during the Elephant Hill wildfires are now healthy and back flying in the wild.

The two birds – part of the falcon family – were released Friday by BC Hydro’s environmental specialist in Pritchard, near Kamloops.

The pair was found in July, when the lion’s share of the wildfire tore through the dry forests near Ashcroft and Cache Creek.

Hydro crews were sent into the area to restore power and replace damaged power poles. Amid the scorched and blackened trees, two recently hatched baby kestrels were found nestled into a power pole, explained Dag Sharman, BC Hydro’s community relations manager.

The crew delivered the chicks to the Wildlife Park Rehabilitation Centre in Kamloops, where they underwent months of treatment.

READ MORE: Animals rescued from fire line

READ MORE: Dogs stick with sheep through wildfire

But the chicks – now strong and healthy – couldn’t go back to where they once called home.

Because of the damage to vegetation caused by the fires, a BC Hydro environmental specialist deemed Ashcroft unfit for the birds’ basic needs, Sharman said.

Instead, they were released on a hillside in Pritchard.

It’s not uncommon for hydro crews to encounter wildlife, Sharman said, such as ospreys nesting on the top of poles, wood peckers drilling into them and animals climbing them.

But this struck a different chord for work crews on the frontlines of the worst wildlife season in B.C. history – one that left many other animals injured, stranded or dead.

“This was so amazing,” Sharman said. “These two tiny little chicks – beautiful birds – had actually survived the Elephant Hill fire when they found them.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

Snowfall in the Okanagan shatters records. (Contributed)
Snowfall in Okanagan breaks records dated back to 1899

Penticton has received over 10 cm today, surpassing the 8 cm record set in 1957

Your Columbia River Revelstoke candidates; Nicole Cherlet (NDP); Samson Boyer (Green) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal)
Candidates’ messages: Columbia River Revelstoke

The Bulletin offered each candidate in Columbia River Revelstoke space to hold forth on issues important to them and to voters.

Earth from Space.
Morning Start: It would only take one hour to drive to space

Your morning start for Friday, Oct. 23, 2020

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read