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)

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)

Just Posted

Firefighters and RCMP are on scene at a fire on Douglas Street. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
PHOTOS: Firefighters battling blaze on Douglas Street

RCMP are also on scene and blocking off access to the street

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

Zuzana Riha’s last exhibition at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre was in October 2018. She has another coming up in November 2020. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke gallery exhibition opening coming Nov. 5

The November show will feature Zuzana Riha in the main gallery

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

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

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Cole Collingwood casts his mock ballot at Vernon’s Mission Hill Elementary School ahead of the provincial election Oct. 24, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Okanagan students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(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

Most Read