Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society

6817 Headquarters Rd, Courtenay, BC V9J 1N2. 250-337-2021

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Helping Wildlife Recover

Our Mission: To conserve and protect native wildlife and its natural  
habitat through education and

Please note: if you are using the link to access our site, please update it to, as we have changed our site and the former address will be unavailable soon.

MARS AGM and Open House

MARS AGM and Open House May 25th

The AGM is 11 am - 1 pm at Merville Hall (1245 Fenwick Road, just off the old Island Highway)
Open House to follow at MARS until 4 pm (6817 Headquarters Rd, Courtenay)

All MARS members are encouraged to attend as this is your opportunity to
have input and to help make the important decisions that will affect the future of the
organization. Non-members are welcome to
come and learn more
about Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society.

We are currently seeking two new new members on our Board of Directors (for more
information see READ MORE)

Agenda to include:

  • Reports from MARS Wildlife Rehabilitators, Education Coordinator and President

  • Presentation of our MARS annual report and a video

Our wildlife ambassadors will be on hand to greet you.
The meeting will be followed by a casual Open House at MARS.

For wildlife emergencies or before you interfere call us.
To drop off injured wildlife: map, driving directions.

Donate Now Through!

Please donate to help wildlife recover, every dollar helps!

Find us on Facebook and YouTube
Upcoming MARS Events

We've already got some great events planned for 2013 and we hope to see you there! We'll also be out and about at community events, as usual...

April 21 (Sunday) Walk for Wildlife: the walk starts at 10 am at the Courtenay Air Park MARS Walk for Wildlife
Check back for more later this week!

MARS events are listed on



Latest Featured Donations

Stephen Watson (left) and Karla Louwers (right), from BC Hydro, paid a visit to MARS to commemorate the two generous donations that we've received from the company this year. They are pictured here with a 'cheque' for $14,000, also held by Maj Birch, MARS manager, ambassador Brinley, and Pat Wagar, office assistant and promotions.

MARS received $10,000 through the Community Champions video challenge program (click for more information) and $4,000 towards the Campbell River Bald Eagle Festival for 2013.

On December 14th we had a visit from Dave Keiver, Manager of Human Resources and Robert Berhrendt, General Manager (pictured) from Myra Falls Mine, inStrathcona, and they presented Reg and Brinley with a cheque for 7,500!

Thank you so much Myra Falls & Nyrstar!

Renowned local artist, Sharon Lennox, recently donated this beautiful, lifelike oil painting of everybody's favourite ambassador, Shakespeare. (She also has another portrait of Shakespeare on her website Sharon Lennox, Artist ) The painting was on display at the Whyte's Framing & Gallery event and another local artist fell in love with it and made an offer of $1200, which was happily accepted.

Thank you for your generous donation, Sharon!

Killing Birds with Kindness

Keep bird feeders clean!

Beware of creating an environment at bird feeders that will be deadly for birds, instead of helpful. The importance of keeping backyard feeders clean is highlighted by this article from last winter - Salmonella outbreak sickens pine siskins.

Photo by Marielle Fassenet

Winter is a harsh time of year for wildlife, and many people wish to help by offering food to help them through the lean time. But we may be killing these birds with kindness.

Outbreaks of salmonellosis, a bacterial disease, are a common cause of death in birds at birdfeeders, especially pine siskins.

Warren Wartig (MARS president) has this to say, also, "A reminder to all backyard birders to make sure your feeders are kept clean. Don't let fungus, mold and bacteria (e.g., Salmonella) collect in the bottom of your feeder. Clean them out regularly with a bottle brush, soap and water, and a splash of bleach to kill off the bacteria. Rinse well and air dry." According to Warren, the fats in suet are resistant to fungus and bacteria, so suet balls or bars are preferable during the winter, when the risk of these hazards is highest. The fat in suet also provides more energy to birds for resisting low winter temperatures.


MARS Products from CafePress

Visit MARSComoxValley on-line store at CafePress to find MARS-related
merchandise,with our ambassadors and featured patients. We've updated and renovated
our shop to give you lots more choices! Profits from all sales help support our ongoing
wildlife rescue and rehabilitation efforts.
Designs now include some of your favourite patients, like Semi and Oscar!



Important Deer Information

MARS Moment 2013
by Sandy Fairfield, MARS Education Coordinator

One of the most endearing and enchanting of our local wildlife species has to be the deer, especially when they are fawns. The Black Tailed Deer are the only deer species found on Vancouver Island, but other deer species inhabit the coastal mainland, Vancouver, and the Fraser Valley. Each year during the winter months, M.A.R.S. receives many deer-related inquiries; "why do they look so mangy", "why are they eating plants they don't usually touch", "there's a dead deer in my shed", and tragically, "what should I do when a deer is hit by a car"?

For more information, please click 'READ MORE' below.
Photo by Jim Dubois


MARS Newest Videos on YouTube

Our patients are the reason for our existence and we try to give them the best care possible. Sometimes we manage to capture them on video and we'd like to show you some of the other things we're involved in, too. Please go directly to MARSBirds Channel to see some of our other patients and events.


MARS rescued a small adult male Bald Eagle from the Campbell River area at the end of March. He came in with signs of poisoning and a concussion from hitting a steel building when he tried to fly. He was administered a charcoal solution to aid in absorbing the toxin and samples were taken for an investigation. Fortunately, after only a couple of weeks, he recovered from both traumas and was able to be released near where he was found. He flew well and soared above the MARS volunteers and staff until they left.

Most MARS videos are made possible by a donation from the Coastal Community Credit Union's Coastal Spirit Fund. They donated $1500 in the summer of 2011 so we could purchase a video camera to bring MARS to life and share it with the world!







Brown Pelican

MARS Moment  2012                                                                                      
by Sandy Fairfield, MARS Education Coordinator

Six years ago I had my first "up close and personal" experience with a very unique bird. Gregarious and comical by nature the Brown Pelican is a very endearing bird that is quite at home around people. These pelicans are found along the southern reaches of the eastern and western seaboards of North America. Migration takes them from southern California to Mexico and as far south as Chile; their summer boundary is usually off the coastline of Southern Vancouver Island. One of seven categories of pelicans, Brown Pelicans prefer shallow water along the coastline and rarely venture more than 20 miles off shore. They usually roost on sandbars and spits, but are quite at home on docks, piers or pylons, and more recently a flock has been seen in Victoria's inner harbour. Waddling clumsily from side to side when walking on land, they become extremely graceful in flight, gliding above the water in search of food.

Photo of 'Tuffy' by  Paul Steeves, Wildlife Rescue Association (WRA)


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Weather Link

  • Current Conditions: Cloudy, 9.5°C
    Observed at: Comox Airport 6:28 PM PDT Wednesday 23 April 2014
    Condition: Cloudy
    Temperature: 9.5°C
    Pressure / Tendency: 100.7 kPa falling
    Visibility: 32.2 km
    Humidity: 79 %
    Dewpoint: 6.1°C
    Wind: SE 13 km/h
    Air Quality Health Index: N/A