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Keep the birds and bees cool: Kelowna wildlife rescue urges action in heat

A Kelowna-based wildlife rescue is encouraging people to help critters stay cool by putting out water dishes
Photo of a bird in a birdbath.

As people take refuge from the heat, the founder of the Wildthings Rehabilitation Society wants people to remember that our small furry and feathered neighbours need to be able to cool off too. 

A heat warning has been issued for much of the Okanagan and the record-breaking temperatures are expected to stay throughout the week.  

Urban development and the destruction of habitats have made it more difficult for animals to find shade and clean water to drink and cool off in.

"During this intense heatwave, ensuring wildlife has access to water and shade is the easiest way you can help," said Sydney Shepherd, the executive director and founder of

Shepherd said that by putting out a water dish filled with clean pebbles, insects, birds and small animals will have a refuge where they can cool off.

"Start by selecting a shallow dish or tray. Next, gather clean, smooth pebbles or small rocks and arrange them inside the dish," said Shepherd. 

She explained that the rocks are not just for decoration.

"The pebbles serve two purposes; they provide a stable surface for insects like bees and butterflies to land on without drowning, and they prevent larger creatures from accidentally falling into the water."

Then, add water to the dish, leaving the pebbles and place the hydration station in a shaded area, preferably near vegetation. Make sure to check on the tray regularly and refill it when needed to ensure it remains clean and accessible throughout the heatwave. 

For more information on the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society visit


Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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