SORCO saves, releases two baby owls at Stag's Hollow Winery

Rescued baby owls fly off

Casey Richardson

UPDATED: 7:55 p.m.

Two three-month-old great horned owls were released at Stag’s Hollow Winery in Okanagan Falls on Saturday afternoon by SORCO raptor rehabilitation centre.

The two birds were brought in at the end of April.

“They're siblings, they both were trying to leave their nest and they didn't quite make it. They were found on the ground under the tree at the Ramada Inn in Penticton and their parents deserted them. So we had to go in and rescue them,” SORCO manager Dale explained.

“The owls came into us at the end of April.And obviously, that area of Penticton is not a great place for owls to grow up. So we chose Stag's Hollow for the venue, because we know in a vineyard, there's lots of rodents, and they have lots of trees. And they went off fine.”

The owls, named Ramada and Inn, flew off into the trees and are set up to settle back into the wild.

The two were set up in huge flight pins before being released, as volunteers watch for their flight pattern, their strength and that they're eating properly.

“And that was all proven two weeks ago. So we contacted Stags and asked if we could come here and do this!”

The release event was SORCO’s first since 2019.

“We've been unable to do one. We've been unable to have our open house. So it was just so much excitement for all of us. We have volunteers here today and a lot of the public came out to support us, which is wonderful,” Belvedere added.

The raptor rescue has been working tirelessly over the past few weeks, picking up 40 birds in 48 hours due to the heat wave.

“They're all doing fine. It was a case of pure heat exhaustion and starvation and dehydration. We've been working around the clock nonstop with them. We've got eagles, ospreys, all kinds of hawks, all kinds of owls. It's a lot of work, but we're very proud and they should all be released.”

Belvedere also thanked the public for notifying the organization of the birds out there in distress the last couple of weeks.

“And you know, great kudos to my volunteers for helping me.”

ORIGINAL: 2:20 p.m.

Casey Richardson with Castanet News is live from Stag's Hollow Winery as the raptor rescue organization SORCO releases two baby great horned owls.

She will have more from the scene after the release.

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