To contact the Bird of Prey Center, do so by telephone at (949) 837-0786
The Orange County Bird of Prey Center was formed to:
- Educate the community about raptors
- Rehabilitate injured raptors
- Release recuperated (recovered) raptors back into the wild
What are raptors?
Raptors are birds of prey. Owls, eagle, falons, condors, hawks, ospreys, kites, and vultures are all raptors. Raptors have strong grasping feet with sharp talons for catching and holding prey. Their hooked upper beak tears and kills prey, and their binocular vision allows them depth perception for hunting..
Our Education Programs
The Center realizes that the long-term solution to preventing many of the injuries seen is through education. Volunteers take birds to schools, Scout meetings, park programs. public television specieals, and nature exhibits. The birds used for the educational programs are non-releasable.
Our Rehabilitation Programs
Injured and orphaned raptors are brought to the center by concerned individuals, Federal, State, and County agencies. They are initially examined by a veterinarian and a course of treatment is persecribed. Sometimes x-rays, surgery, and other medical therapy is required. Young birds learn to hunt live food, honing their hunting and flying skills. Releasable birds are then kept in flight cages (mews) to regain the necessary skills and strength to return to the wild.
Our Release Program
When a bird is ready for release, it is placed in a location similar to its natural habitat.
How to Help: If you encounter a raptor that appears to be injured or ill, call us at (949) 837-0756, or contact Animal Control at (714) 935-6848.
If handling the bird is necessary, use heavy gloves to avoid injury by its sharp talons and beak. A towel or blanket temporarily places over the bird may allow easier handling. Grasp the bird on its sides over properly folded wings. The raptor can then be placed is a heavy cardboard box, which should be only slightly larger then the bird itself. When you find a young bird that you think is abandoned, be certain that it is truly orphaned before removing it from the area. Young birds are often out of their nests a few days before they can fly, being cared for by parents that are nearby, but possibly not visible. The adult birds can do a much better job of raising young than can humans. You can help the parents by keeping dogs and cats out of the area. Always make a record of the time, date, and location of capture. Always refer captured birds to the Center or Animal Control, as it is the legal thing to do.
Our Volunteer Program
The Center relies upon its volunteers to support all of the Center’s work. Please contact the volunteer coordinator at (949) 837-0786 for more information.
Our Donation Program
The Center relies solely on contributions from people like you to continue our work. Contact (949) 837-0786 for more information on our speaking engagements and for any wish list of items that we need.
*WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND A RAPTOR THAT NEEDS HELP *
If you encounter a raptor that appears to be injured or ill, call us at (949) 837-0786, or your local Animal Control Department.
When handling the bird is necessary, use heavy gloves to avoid injury by its sharp talons and beak. A towel or blanket temporarily placed over the bird may allow easier handling. Grasp the bird on the sides over properly folded wings. The raptor can then be placed in a heavy cardboard box only slightly larger than the bird itself.
When you find a young bird you think is abandoned, be certain that it is truly orphaned before removing it from the area. Young birds are often out of their nests a few days before they can fly, being cared for by parents that are nearby but possibly not visible. The adult birds can do a much better job of raising their young than humans. You can help the parents by keeping dogs and cats out of the area.
It is important that you make a record of the time, date and location of capture. Do not attempt to care for the raptor yourself. Not only is it against the law to do so, but it may result in injury to you and/or the bird. The Center is equipped to deal with the raptor’s medical, housing, and nutritional needs and is ready to do so upon its arrival. Additionally, young birds will “imprint” through excessive handling, meaning they will become socially attached to humans. This imprinting may make the bird non-releasable.
**Phone Numbers to Call **
Orange County Bird of Prey Center – (949) 837-0786
Orange County Animal Control – (714) 935-6848
How to Help
Obey the laws which protect raptors, and encourage others to do the same. Support this and other conservation and wildlife organizations. We rely solely on contributions from people like you to continue our work.
Call us to arrange for a speaker for your club or group. Your support in helping others learn about raptors can help to protect these endangered species and promote the preservation of wildlife.
Board of Directors
Veterinarian Scott H. Weldy; Attorney Genevieve Wall; Betty & Bill Millan of El Toro.
Advisors / Consultants
Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group, Inc., Antigo, Wisconsin; Veterinarian Patrick Morris, San Diego Zoo, CA; Veterinarian Kristi Krause, Lake Forest, CA; Veterinarian Nicole Beaudet, Lake Forest, CA.
The O.C. Bird of Prey Center is monitored by the O.C. Animal Control Department and the Department of Fish and Game.