A rare Short-eared owl was found dead in a Saanich backyard on Oct. 26 and will be sent for a necropsy to find out if it had ingested rat poison. (Photo courtesy Kimberly Adamec)

A rare Short-eared owl was found dead in a Saanich backyard on Oct. 26 and will be sent for a necropsy to find out if it had ingested rat poison. (Photo courtesy Kimberly Adamec)

Rare owl found dead in Saanich yard to be sent for necropsy

Short-eared owl ‘vulnerable’ in B.C., owl advocate says

A rare short-eared owl was found dead in a Saanich backyard on Monday evening and advocates are concerned.

Saanich resident Kimberly Adamec came across the owl after her tenant noticed the bird slumped face-down in the flowerbed around 5 p.m. on Oct. 26.

She said it was “unfortunate” to see this “beautiful animal” lying dead in her yard near Lansdowne Middle School. While she often hears owls in the neighbourhood, she’s only seen owls a few times and never this species.

READ ALSO: Poison suspected after well-known owl found dead in Saanich park

Unsure what to do, Adamec went online and found Saanich News article that shared contact information for Deanna Pfeiffer, an advocate with Owl Watch BC. Pfeiffer connects people who’ve found dead owls with the Animal Health Centre lab for a necropsy.

At Pfeiffer’s recommendation, Adamec put the owl in her freezer so it can be assessed for a cause of death. The owl had injuries on its face but its body was in good condition with no marks indicating a fight or attack. She said Pfeiffer had suggested if it was poisoned like other owls in the region, it may have hit its face in its delirious state.

READ ALSO: Great Horned owl mate found alive in Cuthbert Holmes Park

Pfeifer said short-eared owls are a vulnerable species in the province and rare on the Island. Just two hours before the body was found in Adamec’s backyard, a local birder shared a photo of a short-eared owl she’d spotted by Dallas Road on a Vancouver Island bird spotting Facebook Page.

Advocates assume it’s the same owl, Pfeifer said.

Anyone who comes across a dead owl can call Pfeifer at 250-514-2860 or email dgpfeifer@shaw.ca for guidance.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

AnimalsSaanich

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

Just Posted

Mona Strelaeff, a Metchosin resident, is the first non-terminally ill person in Canada to be allowed to use psilocybin assisted therapy. (Provided by Spencer Hawkswell)
Metchosin woman’s trauma treatment could be trendsetting

Experts say this could signal the broadening of who can access psilocybin therapy

Sidney’s Haunted Bookshop is changing owners with longtime owner Odean Long transferring ownership Dec. 1 to William Matthews. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Longtime owner of Sidney’s Haunted Bookshop closes chapter with sale

Odean Long and her late husband moved the business to Sidney in 1996

Goldstream Food Bank volunteers at work. Light Up the City will be offering various options for the public to drop off non-perishable food items to support this food bank and others in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria residents can show their charity through Light Up the City

Drive-thru food bank and toy donation dropoff sites open up this Saturday around region

Victoria police arrested a man in a Yates Street grocery store Nov. 27 after he refused to wear a mask. (Black Press Media File photo)
Belligerent man arrested in Victoria grocery store after refusing to wear mask

Officers fined the man $230 under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act

The Town of Sidney will receive $2.75 million in direct grant support from the provincial government to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A report before council Monday recommends a “cautious and measured approach” in using the funds. (Black Press Media File)
Staff suggest Sidney be cautious spending $2.75 million from province

Staff also warn of financial ‘uncertainty’ and raise prospect of tax increase

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Most Read