studying MIGRATORY RAPTOR DIETS
Ryan Bourbour volunteered at the California Raptor Center from 2014-2015 when he was an undergraduate majoring in Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology at UC Davis. He has since carried over his interest in raptors to his graduate studies in Dr. Joshua Hull's laboratory in the UC Davis Department of Animal Science.
His recent research was published in the latest issue of Ecology & Evolution, entitled “Messy Eaters: Swabbing prey DNA from the exterior of inconspicuous predators when foraging cannot be observed.” To help validate the methods used to collect data for this paper, Bourbour returned to the California Raptor Center to conduct a pilot study.
FEATURED RESIDENT: PHOENIX, PEREGRINE FALCON
Phoenix, the Peregrine Falcon (photo by CRC volunteer Billy Thein)
Like many of the injured raptors brought to the California Raptor Center, Phoenix the Peregrine Falcon was in bad shape when she first arrived.
A hatch year juvenile at the time, Phoenix was brought to the California Raptor Center in October of 2017. A Good Samaritan first spotted her alongside a country road in Woodland as he drove past but was unable to stop and investigate. Days later, passing the same spot again, he saw the falcon still down on the ground. At that point, able to help and recognizing that something was wrong, he picked the bird up and transported her to the California Raptor Center.
VOLUNTEER HIGHLIGHT: DIANA MUNOZ
Diana with Eliza the white-tailed kite
Diana started volunteering at the California Raptor Center during the summer of 2012 while completing her undergraduate coursework in Avian Sciences at UC Davis. As an aspiring wildlife biologist, she was looking for hands-on experience working with birds. Raptors, Diana says, have always been one of her favorite animal groups, so she jumped at the chance to volunteer at the CRC. Since then, her years of volunteering at the CRC have been full of life-changing moments.