Wednesday, September 27, 2017

(ESCAPEE) BLACK VULTURE in Metchosin - Sep 27- Oct 14th

UPDATE: This bird appears to be an escapee. It was deemed non-releaseable from the state of Georgia (believed to be hit by a car) and was rehabbed at The Raptor Rescue Society in Duncan. It got loose in June when a tree fell on its aviary, as it was only one of three birds that apparently could still fly. BC Government officials were notified in June when it was seen soaring with Turkey Vultures. This bird was not banded by the facility before it escaped. This is not considered a wild Black Vulture for this reason, as it was held in captivity. It and the other 2 Black Vultures were considered unreleasable--i.e. unable to fly. They were made available for education purposes. The birds were brought to Canada with necessary permits and that is why the BC Government was notified when it flew away. As this bird and the Balaklava Island bird are both adults, we can assume (but can't prove) they are the same bird.

At noon on September 27-2017, Avery Bartels watched a Black Vulture soar over the RPBO Pedder Bay banding station and Glenrosa Farm Restaurant in Metchosin. The bird was soaring with twenty Turkey Vultures and it was viewed for ten minutes by multiple observers. The Black Vulture soared about 500m from where they were hawk watching. The bird circled and then came closer before it drifted away. It was seen 30 mins later by other observers off Rocky Point Rd just before the junction with Pedder Bay Rd.

This is most likely the same bird first found on September 5th by Ivan Dubinsky on Balaklava Island, see HERE.

For reference the Glenrosa Restaurant is located at 5447 Rocky Point Rd in Metchosin. The Pedder Bay Banding Station is open to the public and has the best vantage point for Vulture viewing. A map to the banding station is located HERE.

Parking is in the grassy area adjacent to the marina parking lot. Park against the log behind the check-in kiosk to avoid inadvertently trapping boat trailers in the lot. If, for any reason, you are unable to park behind the kiosk then please be careful where you park. If you park too close to the boat trailers fishermen may not be able to get out. Leave at least 2 or 3 car lengths distance between the trailer hitch and your car.

As of 2:15pm the bird was still being seen off of Rocky Point Rd just before the Matheson Lake Rd turnoff.

* Other than the spots mentioned above, people may want to look for this bird at the hawk watch site at Beechy Head at East Sooke Regional Park in Sooke.

The bird was never relocated on Sept 29th, despite mulitple observers looking.

On Oct 3rd-2017, the bird was relocated at 6:30pm by Taylor Mar, as it was feeding on a deer carcass on his property on Lisandra Rd off Arden Rd in Metchosin. He photographed the bird as it perched on a nearby tree with Turkey Vulture.

The bird continues as of Oct 14th at 10:30 am at Pedder Bay.

Birders are welcome on the road near 4760 Lisandra Rd but please do not trespass on the property and be respectful of neighbours as well.

Map to location HERE

A video of the Black Vulture eating the deer carcass on their property can be seen below. Video Credit to Taylor Mar.

This bird was deemed unreleasable in Georgia and is a presumed escapee from the Raptor Rehab Society's facility in Duncan. 

Black Vulture perched to the left of a Turkey Vulture - Photo: Taylor Mar

Black Vulture in Metchosin - Photos: Blair Dudeck

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