Great Horned Owl - Tweek
'Sup? I'm Tweek. In 2012, when I was a hatchling, I fell out of the nest and landed on my head. I am dain bramaged (suffered neurological injuries). If you can believe it, I was just a puff ball of feathers that almost didn't make it! Thanks to the great care at the hospital, I am now a full-fledged OCBPC ambassador.
Although we are nocturnal, in the winter, we can be diurnal. Our unsuspecting prey cannot hear us swoop down and catch it due to our muffled flight. If you do not see us in the dark, you may recognize our stereotypical hoots
We do not have many predators but still have to be wary of other Great Horned Owls and mankind. We breed in December, but the majority of our youth does not make it to adulthood.
Red-tailed Hawk - Dulce
My name is Dulce and I hatched in 2007. My history is a bit unknown, but I am clearly an imprint. I hung out with the wrong crowd in my younger days (in my case - people) and never learned how to be a proper Red-tailed Hawk. I’m missing out on being the most common and widespread Buteo in North America: living in mountains, deserts, prairies and on the coast. Buteo jamaicensis sexes are alike in plumage, but females are usually larger than males.
People often see Red-tailed Hawks soaring or perching on tree tops or poles, looking for their prey: small mammals, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. We nest in tall trees or on ledges or cliffs and usually have 2-3 young.
Before I found my home at OCBPC, I visited two other rehab centers. The nice folks at these places do their best to find an appropriate home for the "non-releaseables." We require a lot of resources, so most of these volunteer, non-profit places can only afford a few permanent residents.
Red-tailed Hawk - Hank
My name is Hank and I came to Orange County Bird of Prey Center as a fledgling in 2010 with a fractured right leg from the Tejon Ranch area. I have recuperated, but I cannot be released back into the wild. Therefore, I have become one of the Center's beloved education ambassadors.
Red-tailed Hawks are the most common and widespread raptor in North America. Males are 80% the size of females, despite our matching plumage. Immature Red-tailed Hawks do not have a red tail. We are usually soaring in the sky, scouring for our prey: small mammals, rodents, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Our brood size is 2-3.
Although we are raptors, we still have to watch out for our natural predators, including Great Horned Owls, Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, and dogs!
I love to go out to visit the public. Here's my perspective on how those days go. Hank's Story
Harris's Hawk - JR
Ahoy, there! The name's JR. I'm another ambassador that started out with the wrong crowd. I hatched in 2004 and was promptly taken from my home and natural habitat by a lad who thought it would be really cool to have me as a pet. Boy, was he wrong! Fortunately for me, the authorities confiscated me from him and brought me to OCBPC. It is illegal to keep raptors without the proper authorization. Because I am also an imprint, I would not survive in the wild. As a Harris's Hawk, my main call sounds like the growl of a pirate, so my nickname is JR (Jolly Roger).
Harris's Hawks (Parabuteo unicinctu) are long-legged dark buteos with two different plumage (feather colors and patterns): adult and juvenile. Like most raptors, our females are noticeably larger than males. We are gregarious (sociable) birds that do well in family units.
Western Screech-owl - Gus
Another hatchling from 2008, my name is Gus and I am a female Western Screech-Owl. Either my nest was destroyed or an older sibling pushed me out. Whenever they can, the good people at Animal Control and OCBPC find a nest that can “adopt” hatchlings. Adult raptors are the best parents for young raptors! Unfortunately, all the nests were full that year, so I became a feathered educator.
We are pretty common in deserts, open woodland, and suburban parks, but we are strictly nocturnal and not easily seen. We blend into the trees we dwell in to hide ourselves from larger owls, raccoons, snakes, crows, and jays.
Megascops kennicottii like to eat small mammals, insects, reptiles, amphibians and small birds. Screech-Owls lay 2-6 eggs in birdhouses and natural cavities. Our call is not a screech but a series of evenly pitched whistles that start slowly, increasing into a whinny.
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