Birds at NIWRA

We spent last weekend in Little Qualicum Falls camp on Vancouver Island. The weather was kind of crappy, raining from the moment we get on a ferry until we came back home on Sunday evening. Therefore, hiking was out of question but there were enough time to check on some other things in the area. On one of the back roads we’ve seen a wolf and that really made our day…. or weekend πŸ™‚ I didn’t have time to make a photo for it disappeared in in bush in two seconds but after some researching – someone’s donkey was attacked by wolf recently – we can say with 95% certainty that it was wolf πŸ˜€

But the reason for this post is a visit to North Island Wildlife Recovery Association. We were watching a TV show about them and being in the area (and having rain, too) was a good excuse to go there. NIWRA provides a shelter and recovery place for animals – birds of prey and bears – injured by cars, traps, electric power lines, hunters… It is divided so that animals that could be recovered and released are separated from the ones that are incapable of living on their own. They have 4 bald eagles and ten bear cubs that are almost ready to be released and it is important for them to have as little contact with humans as possible – from about 170 bears released so far, only one came near come village and started making troubles.

Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of birds and one bear at the moment that can’t be released. Their destiny is to stay in shelter for the rest of their lives. It is not a bad life, they are sheltered, fed and taken care of.

But birds are meant to fly, right?

Elvis - swainsons hawkElvis – Swainson’s Hawk

I have only few photographs here but in time I will add more.

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27 Responses to Birds at NIWRA

  1. On one of your trips south, you should make a stop at the San Diego Zoo. Aside from it being an excellent zoo, the flight cages for the birds are built into the side of a mountain, and the birds inside can fly in a space equivalent to a large office building.

    • Darko says:

      Thanks for the tip, if we go there one day, we will try to pay a visit. I’ve heard about San Diego Zoo before.
      Problem with some of these birds is that their wings are so damaged they can’t fly. Therefore, they can’t hunt and in wild they would die of starvation. Some would say this is how it is in wild and that it helps natural selection. But cars and electric wires are not a part of wildlife. Humans caused most of their injuries.

  2. North Island Wildlife Recovery Association.i visited this site and i read about this association ,really i respect and admire these people, i feel that humanity is still alive in their hearts, i saw some of your photos on facebook it was great , especially the bald eagle photo , and i’m going to see it again on flicker .

    • Darko says:

      Thanks Rania. I wanted to capture some moments of sadness about these birds and I am very happy how few of them turned out. Even though those birds might be pretty happy with their lives at the moment πŸ™‚
      Don’t worry about comments on Flickr, you already said nice things about them πŸ™‚

  3. sorry , i can’t send any comment on flicker because i don’t have an account (:

  4. coisart says:

    I’m 95% sure I didn’t attack no ass………….:P

  5. Furie says:

    Why is it that whenever you’ve been to see wild birds, I’ve been eating pretty much the same amount of wings in your photos.

  6. Words says:

    I love the photo of the hawk. Great subdued light.

    I’m amazed that they’ve had such success releasing bears back into the wild. I just took a look at their site and it looks like a really impressive operation. πŸ˜€

    • Darko says:

      It is even more impressive when you know that they are private organization with a lot of local community support.
      The bear cubs that are about to be released have no contact with humans except with those who feed them and even them try to stay away from bears and even be unpleasant with them. Visitors can see them only on monitors from cameras inside the facility. The most important thing is to teach the bears how to find food out in the wild and not to associate people with it. And they must learn that people are, in fact, an enemy. This is the only way they have a chance for survival on their own.

  7. d4rkn1ght says:

    Elsa, the snowy owl looks cool! 😎

  8. kimmzifoo says:

    They look to be happy nonetheless, and certainly well cared for. I’m not much for eagles myself, but I love a nice owl, and ravens are my favourite birds – I love the shot in that album!

    • gdare says:

      Well, they certainly looked happy when one of the staff came with food πŸ˜€
      Ravens are interesting birds. I’ve never had a chance to see them in Serbia, they are not that common. Big, almost like some predatory birds here, long beaks and with an attitude to get their way and play with other animals or people. πŸ˜€

  9. Darko which camera do you use? The photos are stunning! πŸ™‚

  10. edward1793 says:

    The hawk is beautiful. I hope it was one that will get to go free.

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