One of Canada’s threatened northern goshawk just got a new lease on life after being rescued by Mosaic Forest Management and rehabilitated at the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) Wildlife Recovery Centre.
The chick was discovered on June 22 after falling from its nest on Mosaic’s managed private forest lands near Vancouver Island’s Mount Washington. After two months in rehabilitation, the goshawk was released back into the wild on Aug. 20.
The northern goshawk is the largest accipiter hawk in British Columbia, and the coastal subspecies of this bird is considered threatened in Canada, with the entire Canadian population of the coastal subspecies found in B.C. Mosaic has detailed procedures to identify, monitor and protect northern goshawk habitat within their managed private forest lands.
It is rare to see a northern goshawk in the wild and the rescue is the result of being in the right place at the right time for both the goshawk chick and Mosaic staff biologist David Vey, RPBio.
“Northern goshawk don’t necessarily breed every year and we map all nests to properly monitor the goshawks,” Vey said in a joint MARS/Mosaic press release. “I was working in the field conducting breeding area monitoring when I found an active nest and saw a single nestling in the nest so I approached the nest tree and I found a second chick sitting on the ground staring at me with his shocking, blue eyes.”
The height of the nest made returning the chick impossible so Vey brought the Northern Goshawk to the MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre. Mosaic is a long-time supporter of MARS, and the volunteer team at the Wildlife Rescue Centre has the expertise and infrastructure to care for raptors in distress.
“The chick was very dehydrated, so it had probably been on the ground for a while,” said MARS Senior Wildlife Caregiver Joanne Stiles. “During my seven years I have worked and volunteered for the Mars Wildlife Rescue, I have only seen three northern goshawk. It has truly been a unique experience to help rescue this beautiful goshawk who made a full recovery on its way back to its natural habitat.”