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Birds of the Pacific Flyaway

Many birds—from the largest waterfowl to the tiniest songbird—migrate. These annual journeys are incredible marathons, spanning thousands of miles and taking birds across countries and continents. As you may expect, migration can be a dangerous endeavor for birds. Food scarcity, disorienting city lights, and habitat loss can affect the migratory success of birds. Read more to learn about how birds migrate and what visitors you may see this winter in Metro Vancouver as birds stopover!


Tips to Protect Local Biodiversity on World Habitat Day

Today is World Habitat Day, started by the United Nations in 1985 to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter.

Balancing wildlife’s needs for habitat and human’s right to adequate shelter can be a delicate one. This year’s theme, Housing For All: A Better Urban Future, reflects this balance, as we must consider environmental factors while creating housing for all.


Preparing Your Yard for Fall Friends

Your yard provides a rich resource of food and shelter to wildlife all year round. In the fall it can be more so as food and a safe place to live become harder to find. While you might want to tidy up your yard before the winter months, here are a few reasons why it is good to hold off.

  • If you leave your plants to go to seed, you will be providing a food source for wintering birds. If you leave the plants after they go to seed, the old plant stems can provide shelter to a variety of wintering insects including bees. The dead stalks can be used as building materials for birds building their nests in the spring.
  • If you leave your lawn long, you provide shelter for wintering insects which in turn will feed newly hatched birds in the spring.
  • If you leave a few little leaf piles, these can provide a safe place for animals like frogs to hibernate. Rock piles can provide this as well, especially near water.
  • If you have brush piles, they can provide protection for small mammals such as marmots, chipmunks and hares.
  • If you have a pond that ices over in the winter, keep a hole in the ice so animals are able to access the water. You can make a hole in the ice without cracking it by placing a container of hot water on the ice to melt it. This method ensures that the animals can access the water without the danger of them falling through the ice.

Your yard is a precious resource for so many species of wildlife, thank you for taking care of it.

If you see a bird that has exposed bone or blood, bugs or insects covering it, no feathers, or a bird that is sleeping, human intervention is required. Call Wildlife Rescue’s Support Centre at 604-526-7275. To help us return your call quickly, please leave your contact information and observation. We will make sure the bird is treated with kindness and compassion.

If you would like to help with the many efforts of the Wildlife Rescue Association, please click here to learn more.


Wildlife and Wildfires

The wildfires, north and south of Vancouver have, at times, made it hard to breathe and have given us a sense of “unease”. Even though we live in urban settings and the wildfires are hundreds of kilometers away, we still feel the impact of the fires. Wildlfe Rescue provides care to hundreds of birds at this time of year, some displaced by wildfires and many, many injured in window and car impacts.


Protecting Your Local Wildlife

Every year, approximately five billion pounds of pesticides are used to control pest populations – harming local wildlife on the ground, sea, and sky. Chemical pest control solutions are a common part of our lives – whether it is a golf course, restaurant, or our own home. These different chemicals have a fatal effect on our wildlife – even threatening some wildlife populations. Each chemical may have a different impact on wildlife some fatal, others may bioaccumulate and others may pose no harm.


The Ultimate Quick Guide to Hummingbird Feeders

Ideally, all hummingbird feeders should be taken down in September of each year before migration begins. Leaving feeders up will not discourage migration, as hummingbirds that migrate are instinctually driven to do so, however; it can alter their behaviors. In some cases, these feeders are left up unknowingly and without proper care, which can ultimately lead to the fungal infections, starvation and death of the hummingbirds which have become dependent on them for survival.


Protect Your Local Wildlife

Wildlife Rescue provides care to hundreds of animals each year including the Glaucous-winged gulls, pigeons, crows, ravens, and some small songbirds due to improperly discarded waste in the environment. These injuries cause tears, rips and in some cases create difficulty breathing and lead to death in some wildlife.


Specialized Treatment for Juvenile Steller’s Jay

Wildlife Rescue Association of BC is a leader in rehabilitating wildlife and in promoting the welfare of wild animals in urban environments. To fully execute this mission Wildlife Rescue staff and volunteers to practice species-specific care for all wildlife including those vulnerable to imprinting and habituation.
This care is essential for the healthy development and rehabilitation for each animal, so they are successful in their natural environments upon release.


Rooftop Fledglings Face Challenges

A familiar sight on British Columbia’s coastline, gulls are both a staple and a nuisance to those in public places. No matter your stance, we can agree that gulls are a crucial part of BC’s ecosystem and biodiversity – a part that keeps the population of their prey (such as fish) in line. Canada Geese are also an important part of British Columbia’s ecosystem since their method of gathering food (grazing) spreads seeds and allows plants to grow. These two bird species are seen nesting on rooftops in the lower mainland this time of year, where they have adapted their natural nesting behaviour to large buildings and busy cities.


Learn to Co-Exist With Bats!

Bats contribute to our environment in both invisible and visible ways. At night, they are our pest control, since one bat can eat as many as a thousand mosquitoes in an hour. Not only do they control pest populations (which aids the agricultural industry), bats can also pollinate plants. It has been estimated that a hungry bat can devour up to 3,000 insects in one night! Not only does this reduce the need for farmers to use pesticides, but it also helps manage the overpopulation of certain insect groups (including mosquitoes).