Our mission at MARS Wildlife Rescue is to conserve and protect native wildlife and its natural habitat through education and rehabilitation.
Our goal is always to release sick or injured animals into the wild after they have recovered, but that isn’t always possible. For various reasons, our Ambassadors are permanent residents of MARS. They travel to classrooms and the wider community with a volunteer bird handler to act as “spokesbirds” for all wildlife.
Our birds and handlers have met the public at events such as Eagle Fest in Campbell River and the Shellfish Festival in Comox and have visited many classrooms around this part of Vancouver Island. Bird handlers share the life story of their specific bird while it sits on their glove, secured with thin leather straps called jesses. Together they educate the audience about bird anatomy, behavior, and habitat, and explain threats to their survival. Ambassador training takes time and patience for both the bird, and the handler. Our education program has over a 100 bookings per year, and relies on bird handlers to volunteer their time to meet the busy schedule.
Our ambassador birds are not pets, and a respectful distance is suggested.
Amazing experience. Great and passionate volunteers and a very well designed setup. I can imagine taking my kids multiple times year round.
Went on a tour with Scouts and was amazing and the person giving the tour was super knowledgeable. Thank you.
Such a lovely place to learn about local wildlife, the animals are well cared for and the staff volunteers are wonderful.
A Visit from an Ambassador Bird
Cancelled for the near future.
If you’re an educator, community outreach group, or organization putting on an event and you would like to have MARS ambassador birds attend, please fill out the short form below.
Part of the MARS mission is to spread the word about the protection and preservation of wildlife and habitats on northern Vancouver Island and so we love it when the public — particularly young people — can experience our majestic hawk and owls up close, with the interpretative support of our bird handlers.
Tell us when and where you would like us to be and a MARS volunteer will be in touch.