ca rAPTOR cENTER nEWS fall 2018


Dear Friends of the California Raptor Center,

Even though the temperatures are still in the 80’s here in the Valley the leaves are falling, which means it is time again for our Fall Open House this Saturday, October 20 from 9 AM-3 PM! Come meet our newest ambassador Ember the barn owl making her debut at this event, and learn how barn owls are top notch pest control experts! In addition to having our educational ambassador raptors on the glove, we also have educational programs for the kids in our classroom at 10AM and noon and other educational displays throughout the Center. Students working on raptor projects here at UC Davis will also be there to talk about how their scientific projects benefit raptor populations throughout the US. At 11AM we will honor the memory of long-term benefactor and friend of the California Raptor Center David Snyder. Refreshments will be provided courtesy of Super Owl Brewing and Three Ladies Cafe from 12-2PM.

The great majority of time and effort needed to rehabilitate our birds and put on our Open House events is generously donated by our loyal volunteers, and we are so thankful for all they do to support the California Raptor Center. In this newsletter meet Eric Lin, who has devoted substantial time to our rehabilitation and education programs over the past 20 years. We’d also like to introduce Dr. Kyra Berg, a veterinarian and first year resident in the Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery Service at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine. The veterinarians in this Service provide all the medical care for the birds, and we are extraordinarily thankful for their amazing knowledge and expertise in raptor medicine and surgery. One of the greatest feelings of success for a wildlife veterinarian is to see their patients return to the wild- watch the video of Dr. Berg releasing her first patient this year!

We hope you enjoy the newsletter and I look forward to seeing all of you Saturday at our Open House!


Director, California Raptor Center


On August 14, Davis residents on Olive Drive witnessed an adult female red-tailed hawk fly into the side of a building. They observed that it was unable to fly away so they called Yolo County Animal Services, who made the decision to bring her to us for an assessment.

We took her to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine for an initial exam. Based on several tests we discovered that the bird was very anemic (in addition to other blood abnormalities) and exhibited neurological issues. The primary veterinarian responsible for this bird's care at the VMTH was First Year Resident in the Companion Exotic Animal Medicine & Surgery Service, Dr. Kyra Berg.

studying northern harriers in california

One of the biggest trade-offs I have to endure as a field biologist is that I rarely know what I'll be doing season to season. For the past several years I've worked for several different Forest Service districts jumping between raptor, mammal, and herptofauna work. This last season I spent employed with the USGS assisting a doctoral student from UC Davis. Our work is mostly out of the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area just south of Suisun. Together we are investigating local avian predators with the primary focus being on northern harriers.


At this Saturday's Open House, the California Raptor Center will be honoring the memory of long-time donor and UC Davis alumnus David Snyder, who passed away earlier this year.


Ember and her siblings hatched sometime in the spring of 2018 in Clayton, a city near the foot of Mount Diablo in the East Bay area. Like many other barn owls in Northern California, the owlets began their lives nestled between the fronds of a palm tree. Cavity-nesters by nature, barn owls often select palm trees as sites to rear their broods, and Ember and her siblings had a very species-typical history during their first few weeks of life.

Everything came crashing down, quite literally, when tree trimmers pruned the palm tree, unaware of the nesting owls. All of the owlets tumbled to the ground, and in the fall Ember sustained a fracture to her left wing’s radius and ulna; her two siblings were uninjured. The owlets were brought to the Lindsay Wildlife Experience Hospital in Walnut Creek to be treated and raised to adulthood. After weeks of rehabilitation and veterinary care, Ember’s bones had mended well, but her wing continued to droop by her side—an indication of some underlying issue, perhaps nerve or tendon damage. Doubting the barn owl’s ability to fly strongly and silently, Lindsay Wildlife transferred her to the California Raptor Center for assessment.


Eric with Whistler the Swainson's hawk

A self-described "plant guy" by training, Eric Lin first came to the California Raptor Center in 2013 hoping to learn a little bit about the birds he occasionally saw standing on the T-shaped hawk perch where he worked. He quickly fell in love with the birds and the CRC and became involved in several aspects of rehabilitation and education.

“The first time I released a bird, I remember being so amazed by the amount of work and dedication everyone at the CRC had put into rehabilitating the bird for release. Putting an injured bird that you’ve helped rehabilitate back into the wild is an amazing feeling."

limited edition t-shirt campaign returns

We are excited to announce that FLOAT (For Love of All Things) will be re-releasing our popular limited-edition burrowing owl t-shirt design from last August. $8 from every item with this design sold during Oct 22-29 will be donated to the California Raptor Center. More details to follow!

upcoming events

Fall Open House: Saturday, October 20

FLOAT t-shirt campaign: October 22-29

Limited edition CRC t-shirt design
  • FLOAT (For Love Of All Things) will re-release the burrowing owl t-shirt they designed for us last year, available for purchase online October 22-29 (1 week only!)

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