WATCH: A Comox Valley wildlife rescue is celebrating welcoming its resident bald eagles to their new flight pen. Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society has been building a new bigger home for its wild rescues for over a year now, with the help of tireless volunteers. Now the day they have been waiting for has arrived. Skye Ryan reports.
The arrival of two eagles to Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society's new home in Merville this week brought smiles to faces all around.
"This is a big milestone," said the president of Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, Warren Warttig. "So it's a good deal of excitement for all the volunteers here that worked towards this.
The Comox Valley wildlife rescue group's new larger home has been under construction since January 2017. It now has a flight pen for its resident bald eagles to move into and volunteers gathered to see the release of the birds in the pen since it signifies the facility is that much closer to being finished.
"Yes very exciting," said Wildlife Care Manager at Mountainaire Reg Westcott. "But we still have a lot of building to do."
The facility is a testament to the hard work and generosity of the valley. Thousands of dollars of supplies were donated and then put together with the hands of volunteers to see the animal rehabilitation facility get off the ground.
"One of the things that's been really remarkable is how many people have stepped up to volunteer to build these structures," said Warttig. "We've got about 500 volunteer hours in the eagle muse right now and another roughly 350 in the other two combined," said Warttig.
The woman who envisioned all of this was Maj Birch, a tireless supporter of wildlife in the valley, who died two years ago never seeing her dream become reality.
"Yeah this was Maj's dream," said Westcott. "And the way I like to think is she laid the path down for us and now we're building the road."
"And we've done almost exactly what she envisioned, which is quite remarkable. Everybody thinks about her a lot."
Maj Birch's legacy now providing injured wildlife with a state of the art facility to heal in, always working toward that day they'll be released into the wild again.