Volunteers construct homes for burrowing owls

By Jill Sperling / Adam Donnelly
October 15, 2016 - 2:08pm

KAMLOOPS — A species of bird that had once completely left British Columbia is now returning thanks to human help. 

The Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Burrowing Owl Society, and volunteers from the community spent their Saturday building homes for burrowing owls in the Napier Lake Ranch Conservation Area south of Kamloops. 

Burrowing owls had been locally extinct in the 1980s.

President of the Burrowing Owl Society, Mike Mackintosh says it's important to take care of species at risk of extinction. 

"So many species in today's world are facing, if not extinction, severe declines," Mackintosh explained. "I think it behooves all of us to take an active role in turning that tide and fighting back against that."

Mackintosh says the birds don't typically dig their own homes. Instead, they "renovate" holes created by mammals like badgers, marmots, or coyotes. 

The Burrowing Owl Society breeds the birds in captivity and returns them to the wild once they are old enough to survive on their own.

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