Fraser (8 days old) and Georgia (11 days old) were two of four Northern Spotted Owl chicks born at the NSOBP in 2019. (special to Langley Advance Times)

Baby owls are on the way at Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Program in Langley

May be a record year for hatchlings at facility that is trying to save the species from extinction

Baby owls are about to hatch at the Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Program in Langley, which has announced that the first eggs of the season have arrived and chicks are expected in just four short weeks.

Jasmine McCulligh, facility coordinator called it “very exciting.”

Last year, four baby owls successfully hatched at the centre.

“They’re all doing well, McCulligh told the Langley Advance Times.

Next season, the newest additions will be old enough for breeding, getting the centre a few steps closer to its ultimate goal.

For 10 years, the BC Conservation Foundation has been working to bring back the endangered owls from the brink of extinction.

At the Langley centre, owls are raised and fed in large netted enclosures, big enough to allow the owls to fly and even to hunt live prey at times.

The Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Program is working to restore the population of Spotted Owls in British Columbia through captive breeding and release into protected habitat. It is estimated that less than ten individual wild Spotted Owls remain in Canada. The NSOBP hopes to house ten breeding pairs of Spotted Owls and eventually produced 10-20 offspring per year to grow the wild population to 200 individuals over the next 50 years.

Eggs are laid in March and they are artificially incubated for 32 days before they hatch. Each egg is monitored closely in a sterile environment to minimize contamination and give the chicks the healthiest start possible. Once the chicks hatch, they are monitored 24 hours a day for ten days before being returned to their parents.

READ MORE: Selfies with owl offers a close-up look at endangered species

The NSOBP is celebrating the arrival of each egg and wants to share the excitement with the community through their Adopt an Egg fundraising campaign. For a $20 donation, donors will receive a customized adoption certificate and weekly emails about how the eggs are developing. This year marks the fifth anniversary of Adopt an Egg and the funds raised from each symbolic adoption will help to purchase much needed supplies such as paper towel, disinfectants, sterile gauze, disposable gloves, and distilled water. These materials are important for keeping the incubators and the breeding centre’s facilities as sterile as possible. Donations can be made online at https://www.nsobreedingprogram.com/adopt-an-egg

READ MORE: Trio of endangered owls hatch at Langley breeding program

Thanks to a successful Adopt an Egg campaign in 2019, as well as financial contributions from the John Ball Zoo and Abbotsford Community Foundation’s Mary Wakefield Animal Welfare Grant, the NSOBP was able to purchase all of the necessary supplies as well as a new incubator to accommodate the growing number of eggs and chicks. In 2019 the NSOBP had its best breeding season yet and welcomed four chicks as a result of artificial incubation and so far 2020 is on track to beat that record.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ConservationLangley

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

Just Posted

Township looks at ‘next possible steps’ to re-open Walnut Grove pool to competition

Review is only an update, not ‘prescriptive,’ mayor Froese cautioned

Fort Langley artists extend traditional season on virtual gallery

Group’s latest exhibition is a seasonally themed show called Autumn Bounty

Falling tree claims life in Langley

Victim was reportedly out for a walk on a rural road

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read