Resources for Teachers
Introduction to OWL
OWL (Orphaned Wildlife) Rehabilitation Society is a non-profit society that specializes in the care of raptors. This group includes eagles, falcons, hawks, ospreys, owls, and vultures. As a non-profit society, OWL depends solely on public donations and volunteer support to rescue, rehabilitate, and release sick, injured, or orphaned raptors and operates seven days a week, twenty four hours a day on an “on-call” basis for the rescue of raptors.
Raptor patients at OWL now number over six hundred a year and are sent to us from all over British Columbia, and sometimes from other provinces and the US. All care from start to finish is administered by Bird Care staff and any needed surgeries are contributed by local animal clinics.
Some of the non-releasable raptors who don’t heal well enough to survive on their own in the wild reside at OWL as permanent residents and play important roles; some assist with fostering orphans and they all help to educate the public. OWL offers onsite and offsite educational programs. Students visit the facility to learn about the importance of raptors and view our permanent residents and education staff visit schools and special interest groups each week to address science learning outcomes and speak on various topics.
What is a raptor and why are they important?
A raptor is a bird of prey that has specialized tools to find, catch, and eat other animals. Raptors hunt using mainly their eyes and ears and they catch their food with their feet or scavenge. Vultures are an exception and aren’t considered a true raptor; they only scavenge and find their food primarily by their sense of smell.
Raptors are at the top of the food chain, making them an apex predator. They are an integral part of the food chain and help to maintain the balance in an ecosystem. Raptors are also an indicator species; by looking at the health of the top of the food chain, inferences can be made about the rest of the ecosystem. This information aids in better management decisions regarding the environment as these birds are provincially protected by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource.
Find below some resources that you are free to use to further supplement what you learned from our OWL educators.
Check out any of our upcoming events.
Please feel free to print and hand out and post our flyers.