For the seventh consecutive year, we were delighted to bring you the captivating live nest stream of the northern spotted owls, courtesy of the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP). FWCP is a partnership between BC Hydro, the Province of B.C., Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations, and public stakeholders to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife in watersheds impacted by existing BC Hydro dams.
These nest cameras have become an invaluable tool for monitoring these magnificent birds and observing their behaviour up close without causing disturbance. But this year was extra special, as we witnessed many heartwarming moments and milestones.
This year featured Chick T-23, a female born on May 23, 2023 after over one month of artificial incubation and 69 hours of hatching. T-23, holds the honour of being the first offspring of Georgia and Yoda, but she was raised by her experienced maternal grandparents, Einstein and Zalea. T-23 thrived under the devoted watch of her grandparents.
In preparation for the breeding season, our team made significant upgrades to the owls' nests, installing brand-new cameras that provided clear images. But that's not all— these cutting-edge cameras also captured astonishing audio, allowing our viewers to not only witness the owls but also listen in on their vocalizations and interactions.
One fascinating discovery was the unique call made by the female while feeding the chick. When we heard that chittling noise, we knew T-23 was in for a satisfying meal!
T-23 spent over a month knowing nothing but the inside of her nest stump, until at 33 days old when she made fledging look so easy! Once up on the stump, Zalea came over to give her some encouragement and the next thing we knew, T-23 was on the nest platform and out of camera view. At this critical life stage, T-23 was still cared for and protected by Einstein and Zalea, but she was also becoming independent and learning important skills like how to fly and find food. Zalea was particularly attached to her grand-chick and stayed close for many months.
We'd like to thank FWCP and their technical team for hosting the stream. We had a few hiccups along the way but were thrilled with the quality and reliability of this year’s livestream.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without our incredible audience—the viewers who tuned in from around the world, captivated by the lives of these remarkable owls. As this year's breeding season ends, we can't help but look forward to next year's adventures with these awe-inspiring creatures. Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey with us!
This article was originally published in our 2023 Newsletter.