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.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

Being Young: A challenge to those who would stand in the way of women

Women are still campaigning, marching, fighting for their freedom.

Along the Fraser: Just a quiet country drive with Parker

Why we’re increasingly disconnected.

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Ridge RCMP looking for wanted man

Kenneth Lavallee wanted on several firearms related charges, considered armed and dangerous.

Metro mayors to hike transit fares, property taxes to pay for transit projects

Next phase includes Broadway subway, Surrey LRT and replacement of the Pattullo Bridge

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

VIDEO: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild goaltenders a cause for concern

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Canadian survivors, supporters rally against proposed ’60s Scoop settlement

Some have accused the government of underestimating the number of survivors

Nordic athlete Arendz to be Canada’s flagbearer at Paralympic closing ceremony

The biathlete and cross-country skier from Hartsville has raced to five medals in Pyeongchang

VIDEO: ‘Big time disappointment’ as Vancouver Giants fall to undermanned Kelowna Rockets

Head coach Jason McKee very unhappy with effort in Giants’ regular season home finale

Most Read