Watch a B.C. boy's shocked reaction to a close encounter with owls
VANCOUVER -- A B.C. boy learned a lesson after an up-close encounter with a pair of barred owls at a Vancouver Island park.
Tyson Hockley was at Quarry Park in North Saanich with his parents, and was hoping to get a glimpse of the birds.
The 12-year-old from Victoria wanted to shoot a video, and played owl sounds from a speaker, hoping for a flyover.
What ended up happening surpassed his wildest expectations.
An owl appeared, followed by a second.
"They got really curious and started swooping down to the table," he told CTV News.
"One actually did a quick land on my head as it flew past me."
While the experience was special for Hockley, he said he realized after reading some of the comments on a video he posted online that it may not have been the right thing to do.
"I'm not sure how good it was for the owl. It may have stressed it out a bit," he said.
While the regulation doesn't apply to barred owls, the federal government has asked bird watchers in Canada not to "harass" migratory birds with recorded calls.
Citing a "new trend," the government issued a request last August not to use calls to lure birds from nesting sites to obtain a better photo or see them better.
A post online says this type of practice can be considered against the federal Wildlife Area Regulations, and the Migratory Bird Regulations, depending on the species. Barred owls are not one of the species protected by those regulations.
It can also be harmful to migratory birds, resulting in wasted energy or impacting their feeding and resting periods, the government says.
"Birds subjected to this type of practice can also lose their territory, their ability to nest, and can be exposed to their rivals or potential predators," the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change said.
With a report from CTV News Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim