Dear Friends of the California Raptor Center,

We had a fantastic 2017, with a very successful fundraising campaign to help us rebuild some of our much-needed rehabilitation caging. This will allow us to begin construction to add 12 or more new “mews” (cages) for rehabilitation this year, while moving forward to raise additional funds to add on additional mews to the building over time. Thank you to the School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 1967 for their generous gift that moved this project forward in 2018! Stay tuned for information on our ground-breaking for this new rehabilitation building, and on the renovation of several others in the near future!

We are also incredibly excited to finally be taking our museum into the 21st century after the new roof, painting and cleaning of the floors late last year. Our education team is working hard to digitize some of our rehabilitation stories for our new digital displays to give you a “birds eye” view of the types of cases we see, and how we treat them. Stop by and see our new displays!

This year, we have added several new birds to our educational programs. These are unreleasable birds that are calm and adapted well to a life in captivity. Stop by and meet them either on your own, or during Biodiversity Museum Day this coming Saturday, February 17. In the newsletter meet Wes, one of our newest educational Western screech owl ambassadors!

None of these activities would occur without the devotion of our CRC volunteers. Therefore each quarter we will introduce you to one of our amazing volunteers. In this newsletter meet Billy Thein, a long-term volunteer who has helped advance every aspect of the Center over the years. If you are able to attend Biodiversity Museum Day or our Spring/Fall Open Houses, be sure to say hello to him!

Happy 2018 everyone and look forward to seeing you at the Center soon!

Director, California Raptor Center


By Bret Stedman, Operations Manager

On the afternoon of October 12, 2017 a UC Davis groundskeeper came to the California Raptor Center (CRC) to report an injured hawk on the UC Davis campus. The bird was in a tree at the Arboretum oak grove, near the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH).

I went to the site with Raptor Center volunteers Julie Cotton and Ross Lewin to evaluate the situation. The bird in question was a red-tailed hawk now about 40 feet up in a large oak tree. Because of its juvenile plumage we could tell that this bird was hatched in the spring of 2017 and, given its large size, we could also tell that it was a female.

limited edition float t-shirt campaign

For one week only, a limited edition t-shirt designed by FLOAT (For Love Of All Things) will be available for purchase at float.org from February 19-26 only! For every item sold, FLOAT will donate $8 to the California Raptor Center at no cost to us.

Our last design by FLOAT was hugely popular and many people were trying to buy shirts after the deadline--don't miss out this time around! Once the design is finalized we will share it with all of our followers via social media and email. In the meantime, see if you can guess which of our resident raptors is going to be the star of the design based on the sneak preview above!

2017 annual report release

For the first time in a long while we are releasing an annual report featuring a breakdown of our finances from the past year.


Wes, our resident western screech owl

Wes was brought to the California Raptor Center in November 2014 after being hit by a car in Woodland, CA. Examination at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital revealed trauma to his left eye, old lesions in his right eye, and a luxated (dislocated) left alula, which is the avian "thumb". Veterinary ophthalmologists concluded that this combination of pre-existing right eye problems and new left eye damage compromised the owl's vision, and his care team deemed him non-releasable.


Billy Thein with Sullivan the golden eagle

Billy Thein has been a volunteer at the California Raptor Center for 21 years. He started when he was in high school during the summer of 1996. Back then he knew very little about birds and could only differentiate owls from hawks. Since then he has volunteered at several rehab centers including Suisun Wildlife Center and the Minnesota Raptor Center.

Billy Thein working in the field with a wild Western screech owl

Today Billy works for the Forest Service as a Biological Technician surveying for all manner of wildlife including golden eagles, northern goshawks, and spotted owls. The California Raptor Center has been the cornerstone of Billy's career giving him first hand experience with raptors along with plenty of practice speaking in public. He still finds time to come back to the raptor center to help take care of injured birds, train new volunteers, and educate the public about raptor conservation.


Biodiversity Museum Day: February 17, 2018

FLOAT t-shirt campaign: February 19-26, 2018

Spring Open House: May 5, 2018

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