Monday, December 16. 2019
Our Vancouver office responded to an emergency call regarding an owl found inside a warehouse in Vancouver, British Columbia. They immediately dispatched one of their technicians to the call and found the owl sitting on a ceiling pipe inside the building. They were able to catch the owl and bring her outside to be let free.
Once placed on the ground, the owl was displaying some unusual behaviour. She was not interested in taking in her surroundings or looking to fly away but instead was looking down and swaying her head back and forth. Vancouver technician immediately saw this as a sign that the owl was not well and decided to pick her back up to bring to OWL Rehab, which is a facility dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of raptors (eagles, falcons, hawks, osprey, owls, and vultures). The next day, our Vancouver office received word that the Owl had sadly passed in her sleep. When the staff at OWL had a look at the video that was taken of the Barn Owl displaying her odd behaviour, they said it is possible she had the West Nile Virus. In 2002 it was discovered that West Nile was a serious new disease to Canada's more northern owls. There was quite a large outbreak in Canada in 2002. Thankfully, as of August 31st there had only been 4 recorded cases in Canada compared to 427 in 2018.
Below are some interested facts and characteristics about the amazing Barn Owl.
- A Barn Owl makes almost no noise when it flies. This allows them to hear the smallest noises made by their rodent prey hidden while they fly up to 3 metres overhead. They have broad and rounded wings with a high surface area, which allows Barn Owls glide for longer without flapping their wings as often.
- Barn Owls have heart-shaped face that collects sound the same way as human ears. Hidden beneath their feathers are their ears at slightly different heights, which helps calculate the small sounds made by their prey, such as a mouse. They have the most sensitive hearing of any creature tested.
- As mentioned above, Barn Owls prey mostly on wood mice, field voles, and common shrews
- Barn Owls don’t hoot, they screech and scream
- Barn Owls will often use the same nesting site year after year and are usually monogamous, meaning they stay faithful to one partner until one of them dies.
Picture taken by the staff at our Vancouver Office.
By Brad Gates, B.Sc.
Brad Gates is the owner and president of AAA Gates Wildlife Control. He has over 35 years experience in the humane wildlife removal and prevention industry.
This mother and her babies were found living inside a garage wall this past Spring. The homeowner was hearing crying sounds coming from behind the drywall when he was working inside his garage and suspected he had an animal living in there. Sure enough, we discovered a mother and her young babies living inside this confined wall space, which is perfect for a mother and her young to live in. These babies in the photo would now be full grown and spending time in an attic, keeping warm with their mother.
During the cold winter months, raccoons will spend extended periods of time indoors surviving off their fat supplies. They are capable of staying in the attic for weeks at a time in order to conserve valuable energy. During this extended stay inside the attic, considerable damage can happen to both the insulation and wiring.
We are also only a month away from mating season for raccoons, therefore it is a good idea to have them humanely removed now. We could start seeing babies as early as March, last Spring we saw our first litter on March 1st!
Male raccoons are polygamous and will mate with several females in succession. In contrast, female raccoons are monogamous and will only mate with one male and will not tolerate other males after mating has occurred.
We strongly recommend having Gates Wildlife Control out to humanely remove your wildlife tenants before they begin staying indoors and causing damage to your home.
Call our office at (416) 750-9453 for a FREE no obligation on-site estimate today!