One of two male merlin (a small species of falcon) ready to fly.

Nelson merlins fly home

Birds released by OWL in a Nelson neighbourhood after June 29 storm destroyed their nest.

Two young merlins have found their way home to Nelson after spending six weeks at the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta.

The small falcon species pair are brothers who were thrown from their nest during the June 29 storm when strong winds toppled the tree home to their nest.

Four fledglings were in the nest that fell into Wayne Woodward’s deck, but only two survived the crash. Their mother squawked through the night. Woodward collected the surviving birds in a towel to warm them up.

“They were in shock,”  he said. A call was made to OWL in Delta.

“It works way faster than the insurance companies,” said Woodward referring to damages sustained from the event.

He kept the birds in a dog cage and placed them on a trampoline outside, where they were protected by netting and could hear the high pitched “klee klee klee” of their distressed mother.

A handler arrived the next day and the avian pair were transported to the rehabilitation centre. As they got their wings, a mature female merlin taught them to hunt and fly in a flight cage.

Two weeks ago, Woodward got a call from the facility saying they would like to release the merlins where they were found.

Merlins are territorial so releasing them into another environment would only cause more troubles, Woodward explained.

Both merlins were released Thursday and flew straight to the tree that used to house their nest.

And there’s a good chance they will reunite with their mother.

“The mother has been seen around so hopefully they will reunite,” Woodward said.

An OWL wildlife handler releases one of two young merlins in a Nelson neighbourhood where the pair were thrown from their nest during a storm in late June. Wayne Woodward photos

This story will appear in the West Kootenay Advertiser.

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