Published: Friday, January 27, 2012

The Hornby Eagle Group Projects Society has honoured Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society founder Maj Birch by presenting her with two pieces of wildlife art donated by artist Mary Jane Harman. In addition to the artwork, HEGPS and Friends have made a donation to MARS to help it continue its work of helping B.C. wildlife.

The money was raised through the generosity of its OurNatureZone forum members, online chat room participants, and facebook friends.

HEGPS, which broadcast the Hornby Island eagle cam for the prior two years, has seen firsthand the “wonderful work done by Maj and her dedicated volunteers.”

When the Hornby eaglet, Phoenix, succumbed to Aspergillosis in July of 2010, MARS was there to transport her, examine her, and ensure that a cause of death was found.

Later that summer, HEGPS members on Hornby Island were involved in the rescue of three eaglets in need of MARS’ tender care – and HEART (the Hornby Eagle Advanced Response Team) was born.

Hornby eaglets “Decker” (named for the deck where he was found) and “Niner” and “Brig” (named for the nests where they hatched), were rescued and delivered to MARS.

The eaglets were emaciated, yet were nursed to health by MARS and later by NIWRA, the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association.

Many tears of joy were shed when the eaglets were released to live their lives as they should, in the wild.

Last season, a Hornby eaglet dubbed ‘Shredder Helliwell’ was rescued by HEART and sent to MARS. Shredder was found in Helliwell Provincial Park and, when in rehab, had a habit of shredding things.

Though severely emaciated, Shredder recovered and became another success story when she was released in November at Little Qualicum River.

“HEGPS is grateful for all that MARS has done for wildlife,” said the society in a statement. “Both the residents and wildlife of the Comox Valley and beyond are lucky to have Maj Birch in their midst.

“HEGPS thanks Maj for all she does for the birds and other wildlife who need a helping hand. It is our sincere hope that MARS will be able to continue its valuable and needed work.”