‘Real community effort’ an owling success

Four Ida Valley owls were once centimetres from disaster.

Now, with the strength to fend for themselves, the birds have flown off into the wild.

Yesterday the young little owls were released where they were found after spending six weeks months in captivity.

Ida Valley resident  Rochelle Drury said they were found by Delta workers in November.

The workers were chopping down trees interfering with power lines, she said.

"They cut the last one and here were all these little faces looking up. These big burly guys went to a grinding halt."

Four owlets found in a tree in the Ida Valley in November. Photo: Supplied
Four owlets found in a tree in the Ida Valley in November. Photo: Supplied
The owls were living inside a cavity in the tree, she said.

"They were about two inches from having their heads chopped off."

The tree was on a neighbour’s property, about eight minutes drive  from Oturehua, she said.

The community deliberated on what to do and eventually gave them to Oxford Bird Rescue in North Canterbury to look after.Yesterday’s release went "really well", she said.

"We all got to hold one. We did a bit of a ‘three, two, one’ and they all took off in different directions but ended up in the same tree."

It was a "real community effort", she said.

Ida Valley woman Rochelle Drury and North Canterbury bird rehabilitator Scott Bowman prepare to...
Ida Valley woman Rochelle Drury and North Canterbury bird rehabilitator Scott Bowman prepare to release young owls yesterday. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Oxford Bird Rescue co-owner Scott Bowman said he imagined the owls would do well in the wild.

"They’ve got a bit of weight on them now.

"It’s a good time of year for doing these releases because there are plenty of mice and bugs around."

Two of the birds were ‘‘pretty feisty’’ and the others were more docile, he said.

"They’ll probably hang around for a while — they might even interact with their parents.

"They definitely got a second chance. They are very lucky little birds."

Little owls were introduced to Otago in the early 20th century and are now common in dry eastern areas.

jono.edwards@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter