This month four classes from Kinnikinnick and West Sechelt elementary schools worked with Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project team members to help a very special local bird species-at-risk.
Federally threatened and provincially blue-listed, the western screech-owl (coastal kennicottii sub-species) stands just 230 cm (nine inches) tall. These adorable small owls have experienced dramatic population declines since the 1990s. Loss of cavity-bearing nest trees and predation by expanding barred owl populations have been identified as important factors in their decline.
To assist screech owls, the enthusiastic students helped build owl nest boxes.
Screech owls nest in natural tree cavities and old woodpecker holes, but development and forest harvesting have reduced the number of suitable cavity-bearing nest trees. Luckily, screech owls will also use man-made nest boxes, and the installation of nest boxes can help enhance habitat for this species where natural tree cavities are lacking.
The Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project encourages other community members to help screech owls by sponsoring or installing and monitoring owl nest boxes. To learn how to help, please visit www.coastwildlife.ca or www.facebook.com/coastwildlife or contact Ana at ana@coast
wildlife.ca or 778-239-9231.
The Wildlife Project gratefully acknowledges funding support from the BC Hydro Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Gencon Foundation and Environment Canada.