Ojai Raptor Center

Winter/Spring 2012
Large Flight Cage Nears Completion
260 Foot Enclosure almost ready for occupants!

ORC is anticipating final permit approval from the county this month as the largest flight cage nears completion. The enclosure is 260í long and 30 feet wide. It is designed in an L-shape to accomodate larger birds who will now be able to exercise their wings making the turn into the long straight sections while on the mend at the center.

This is the largest flight cage in Southern California, and will soon be ready for rehabilitating eagles, hawks and vultures. Almost 2 years in the making, the project cost almost $120,000 and required hundreds of hours of volunteer labor to complete. ORC also received generous donations to help fund part of the cost, including a $50,000 grant from Edison last year and an anonymous donation of $21,000 from a private foundation to cover the cost of the steel frame.

This brings the total number of large flight cages built at ORC to five. Last year 4 smaller enclosures were finished and are currently in use. The two 24 foot flights, and two 50 foot flights house the many rehabilitating Barn owls, Great Horned Owls, Cooper's hawks and Red-shouldered hawks that ORC receives each year.

Take a short video tour below and see volunteers finishing the project!

Avalon Making Progress
Young Bald Eagle training at ORC

Avalon with volunteer Mike McLellan

Avalon, a young Bald Eagle, arrived at ORC in August 2011. Avalon's amazing story has been followed by many people both locally and around the country, and she had many fans before coming to ORC.

Avalon was born on Catalina Island and was destined to be a wild eagle flying free, but when she left the nest and flew up to Washington she was injured. She was found and initially taken to the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center in Arlington, WA. Over time, it was determined that despite the best efforts to mend her broken wing, she would never be able to be released back into the wild. See the full story and videos of her journey to ORC Here.

Now in her 5th month at the center, Avalon has begun training to be an Ambassador Eagle in Ojai Raptor Center's public education program.
It can take a lot of time for a formerly wild eagle to adapt to her captivity and to get used to people handling her. ORC volunteer Mike McLellan has started the process of teaching Avalon to stand up on a thick leather glove. This takes a ton of patience and a lot of time spent just standing or sitting with her. We are documenting these training sessions and have a weekly Avalon Report from Mike along with any video we take of these sessions. You can follow Avalon's journey on ORC's Avalon Report page and we post notices of the new reports on the ORC Facebook page as well as on Twitter.
Adopt Avalon

ORC Open House Scheduled for March 10, 2012
The public is invited to come out to ORC's Spring Open House, Saturday March 10, 2012. Donít miss this unique opportunity to visit the Ojai Raptor Center, which normally is not open to the public. Youíll to be able to see our newest and largest flight cage and all the progress that has been made in building the site's facilities.

ORC's Resident Ambassador birds and their gloved handlers will be at the event for public viewing at close quarters! Come and meet ORC's Eagles, Hawks, Falcons and Owls. Ojai Raptor Center is located at 370 Baldwin Rd. Ojai, CA. Plenty of parking is available and we will have a shuttle car running from the upper lot as well as handicap parking in the lower lot. Open house hours are 12 - 4 PM.

In the past ORC has held the Annual Open House in November, but last fall's event proved so popular with the public that we have added a second Open House this year. The fall event will be November 10, 2012. Mark your calendar for one or both events!

From the Director
Kimberly Stroud
Dear Members and ORC Supporters,

I am so pleased to announce the completion of our largest flight cage here at the Ojai Raptor Center. As you will read in the article above, it took almost two years to accomplish! This was a big project for us, and it all came together with hundreds of volunteer man (and woman!) hours. I want to thank everyone involved. This includes the general public who support our efforts through donations, memberships, sponsorships, ORC merchandise sales and attending our annual fundraisers and other public events. We are grateful for funding from corporate donations and grants. Also, this project would not have been possible without the countless hours of hard work from our dedicated volunteers.

Speaking of the flight cage, you will soon have an opportunity to see it along with the rest of the progress we have made here at the Center. We are pleased to announce our next Open House date Ė March 10, 2012. Last November was our 2nd Annual Open House day and it was very well attended as people enjoyed touring the facilities and grounds as well as meeting our Ambassador Raptors. We have decided to add a second Open House day this year to give our supporters another chance to see our facility and find out about our wildlife rehabilitation work. The Fall Open House will be November 10, 2012. Please mark your calendars and join us for one or both events!

Now that 2011 is behind us, I look forward to preparing for a busy 2012. Itís still winter, but very soon spring baby season will be upon us! Lots of newborn and fledgling raptors and songbirds somehow end up in trouble and separated from their parents. Many of them are brought to ORC to be raised and eventually released back into the wild. What would happen to all these babies if ORC did not exist?
Until next time,

Kim Stroud, ORC Executive Director

Osprey treated at ORC
ORC Rescues & Releases Osprey

Ospreys are infrequent patients at the Ojai Raptor Center. Although they can be found in Ventura County, especially near the coast, they are pretty rare and we havenít received many over the years. Recently a man found an Osprey in distress on the ground in Oxnard. An Ospreyís primary prey is fish, and the bird had become entangled in fishing line with the hook embedded in the left wing. ORC volunteer Deanna McCormick examined the bird and found the area around the hook to be infected. She untangled the line and removed a fishing weight along with the hook before cleaning the wound.

The Osprey required antibiotic therapy and time to heal. Keeping an Osprey until ready for release can be problematic because they are high-strung and nervous and often wonít eat in captivity. It was important for the bird to have more healing time, so a whole Sea Bass was purchased and cut up for the Osprey patient. Ultimately the Osprey did eat the Sea Bass and was treated for 5 days at ORC before being released at Lake Casitas!
Volunteer Spotlight
Dottie Combs has volunteered for the Ojai Raptor Center since 2004. She has trained as a rehabilitator and often works with the smaller owls such as screech owls and burrowing owls. Her current resident owl is a burrowing owl that came in recently. It was probably injured while migrating. This owl is now able to fly and will be released back into the wild soon.

Dottie became interested in raptors in 1989 while living in the Bay Area. One day she noticed an injured red-tailed hawk that a cat was stalking and she took it to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA. In no time, she became a volunteer and an occasional supervisor. Dottie says she has fostered over 67 different kinds of animals over the years including bats, foxes, woodpeckers and quail as well as raptors. The continuing success of the Ojai Raptor Center would not be possible without the help of volunteers like Dottie. ORC is proud to have many dedicated volunteers who do this vital work.

Dottie Combs with Burrowing Owl

Ojai Raptor Center (ORC) is dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of injured, orphaned and displaced birds of prey, and to providing educational programs to teach about raptors and our shared environment. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, licensed by California State Fish & Game and Federal Fish & Wildlife. As such we rely solely on charitable contributions for our operations. All contributions are tax-deductible.