Rare B.C. burrowing owl found injured in Chilliwack

An animal rescue group couldn't save an injured burrowing owl found in Chilliwack but hopes the discovery of one of the rare birds means there are more.

Rescue society couldn't save bird, but hopes its existence means there are more

The Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC describes the owl as a short, fat, little bird on stilts, about the size of a pop can. (Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC)

An animal rescue group couldn't save an injured burrowing owl found in Chilliwack but hopes the discovery of one of the rare birds means there are more.

During the last week of 2015, a woman contacted the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (O.W.L) to report she had found an injured bird.

"We were thinking it would be a Northern Saw-whet owl which is very common," said Mindy Dick, who speaks for the society. "But it was actually a burrowing owl and that is not a common bird we get."

"They are very scarce around here. They are very much an endangered species."

By the 1980s in B.C., burrowing owls had all but disappeared from the province, but recently conservationists have been trying to bring them back by breeding some in captivity and releasing them into the wild, especially in the Okanagan.

Sadly, the one found in Chilliwack died from its injuries but advocates like Dick hope that its existence is a sign that the birds may be slowly becoming re-established in the area.

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