The Newlands property is on Newlands Drive, across from the hospital. The property is noted in the City of Revelstoke’s Official Community Plan to include single family homes and would be a suitable location for a small café or retail shop. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

The Newlands property is on Newlands Drive, across from the hospital. The property is noted in the City of Revelstoke’s Official Community Plan to include single family homes and would be a suitable location for a small café or retail shop. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

‘We’re resigned to saying goodbye’: Revelstoke owls nesting in upcoming subdivision

Local residents said the owls have nested in nearby woods for decades

A property in Arrow Heights slotted for a new subdivision is home to a Great Horned Owl’s nest.

The Newlands property on 1160 Newlands Road, across from the Queen Victoria Hospital, has 25 lots for single family dwellings and one large remainder lot. The developer, Willie-Jim Holdings Ltd., cleared land for an access road last fall, part of a multi-phased project.

Patrick Roche, spokesperson, said the company is expected to start selling the lots this fall. The nearly eight acre property is still mostly treed.

Great Horned Owls are distinct with widely spaced ear tufts, bright yellow eyes and a conspicuous white throat. This is one of the chicks spotted on the Newlands’ property, across the street from the hospital. (Submitted)

Tanya Kemprud moved into the area in 2003 and said owls have nested in those woods each spring since she arrived.

“We look forward to the owls every year,” she said.

“And everyone is talking about them this year.”

Several weeks ago, the province was notified by a nearby resident of a possible disturbance to an owl’s nest, said the Ministry of Forests in an email to Black Press.

According to the provincial Wildlife Act, it’s against the law to destroy or tamper with a nest when it’s occupied by a bird or its egg.

Roche said when Willie-Jim Holdings Ltd. was notified about the nest, they set up a 100 metre buffer zone to protect the owls and prevent public encroachment.

“We want to be wildlife stewards,” he said.

Having owls in Kemprud’s backyard has been a treasure for her children, she said.

Kemprud’s kids have spent days during the COVID-19 pandemic, finding and dissecting owl pellets, learning what owls eat, such as mice and rodents.

“We love our owls,” said Kemprud.

Roche said there are no plans to clear the trees on the lots until they are sold. He continued the developer will ensure each property owner is aware of possible owls in the area before they fell any trees.

READ MORE: Kelowna first responders rescue baby ducks from storm drain

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Hungry hawk versus reluctant rattler showdown recorded by B.C. photographer

Roche said the developers will perform subsequent surveys before construction begins to ensure the owls have left the property.

Kemprud’s kids dissecting owl pellets, which contain rodent and bat skulls.(Submitted)

However, according to the province once the owls leave their nest, the trees can legally be cut down.

After the new subdivision, Kemprud said she doesn’t expect many trees to remain.

“It would be nice if the owls have some place to come back to, but we’re resigned to saying goodbye.”

Great Horned Owls are monogamous and usually mate for life. The bird commandeer another’s nest, such as red-tailed hawk or bald eagle.

According to the province, Great Horned Owls usually stay in the area of their nests for the summer.

The owl is one of the earliest nesters of B.C. birds from February to May.

The OWL (Orphaned Wildlife) Rehabilitation Society said Great Horned Owls are common throughout B.C., including Revelstoke.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

birds

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

 

Great Horned Owls are distinct with widely spaced ear tufts, bright yellow eyes and a conspicuous white throat. This is one of the chicks spotted on the Newlands’ property, across the street from the hospital. (Submitted)

Great Horned Owls are distinct with widely spaced ear tufts, bright yellow eyes and a conspicuous white throat. This is one of the chicks spotted on the Newlands’ property, across the street from the hospital. (Submitted)

Kemprud’s kids dissecting owl pellets. (Submitted)

Kemprud’s kids dissecting owl pellets. (Submitted)

Kemprud said the year around the nest is littered with legs. According to OWL (Orphaned Wildlife) Rehabilitation Society, these legs probably belonged to some sort of duck or other water bird. The distance between the foot and joint is too short to be blue heron, said the society. (Submitted)

Kemprud said the year around the nest is littered with legs. According to OWL (Orphaned Wildlife) Rehabilitation Society, these legs probably belonged to some sort of duck or other water bird. The distance between the foot and joint is too short to be blue heron, said the society. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Sylvain Fabi, Canada’s chief negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty, joined a number of government and Indigenous government stakeholders for a virtual town hall on Feb. 24, 2021, to update the state of the Columbia River Treaty negotiations. Trevor Crawley photo/Zoom screenshot
Indigenous input key to Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Ecosystem function included in negotiations along with flood management and power generation priorities

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Okanagan patients will benefit from the recent inclusion of the Medical Arts Health Research Group in a worldwide study with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study will be a global collaboration for finding better treatments for COVID-19. (File photo)
Okanagan research group involved with finding better COVID treatments

Okanagan Medical Arts Health Research Group invited to collaborate in global study

A rendering of a proposed four-unit development on Downie St. (Monashees Drafting & Design)
Row housing proposed on Downie St. in Revelstoke

A zoning amendment and public hearing are required for the project

I hope the pandemic doesn’t kill the bulk section. I like to choose my own candy. (File)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

Most Read