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Raptors

Screech Owl

Eastern Screech-Owl (Megascops asio)

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Our resident Eastern Screech-owl came to us from the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays, New York in the winter of 2014.

Our female screech-owl was caught by a domestic cat and suffered eye trauma and multiple soft tissue injuries on the body. Her body healed but her vision did not. She has a cataract and retinal scarring in the right eye, which precludes her from hunting effectively and surviving in the wild. We began using her in educational programs in 2015.

Average Height: 6.3 - 9.8 inches

Average Weight: 4.3 - 8.6 ounces

Wingspan: 18.9 - 24 inches

Life Span: Up to 13 years in the wild, but generally less than that.

Description: Screech-Owls can be gray or reddish-brown. Their feathers have complex patterns, which provide camouflage.

Call: The most common sound is an even trill.

Range: Eastern Screech-Owls are found in the eastern US, from the Dakotas down to Texas, and east to the Atlantic.

Habitat: These owls prefer areas with tree cover, and are predominantly found in forests and wooded areas around streams. Tree cavities or nest boxes are vital.

Diet: These owls will eat small animals such as birds and mammals, as well as insects.

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Red Tailed Hawks

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

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Our resident red-tails both have permanent injuries and are non- releasable. Red-tail #1 was found in the road with head trauma. She also suffered lasting nerve and muscle damage to her feet, presumably from being caught in a foot hold trap, which are still legal in Pennsylvania. She came to us from Delaware Valley Raptor Center in Milford, Pennsylvania in late 2013. Although we do not bring her on outreach programs, her presence in our aviary provides an opportunity to educate the public on the dangers of foot hold traps.

Red-tail #2 came to us from Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays, NY in early 2014. She suffered a fracture to her wing bone due to a shotgun injury. Eight pieces of shot were found in her body. The bird was sent for orthopedic surgery to correct the fracture, but failed to regain flight capabilities needed to survive in the wild. She is a crowd favorite at educational programs.

Average Height: 17.7 - 22 inches (male)

Average Weight: 1.5 - 3 pounds (male)

Wingspan: 44.9 - 52.4 inches (male)

Life Span: On average, 21 years in the wild.

Description: Red-tailed Hawks often have pale underparts, with streaked bellies, and a reddish-brown to chocolate brown back and wings. Their tail is red from the top, hence their name.

Call: A loud, screaming “kee-eeee-ar” that lasts 2-3 seconds.

Range: These hawks are found all throughout the United States.

Habitat: Red-tailed Hawks prefer open areas, and are mostly found near fields perched on fences and telephone poles.

Diet: Red-tailed Hawks eat mammals such as rabbits, skunks, voles, moles, and mice. They will also eat small birds.

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Kestrel

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

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Our male American Kestrel came to us from The Delaware Valley Raptor Center in Milford, Pennsylvania in the winter of 2013. He was hit by a car while learning how to fly (fledging) and shattered his right wing, rendering him flightless. He now resides in our outside aviary.  Our American kestrel started participating in educational programs about a year after his arrival.

Average Height: 8.7 - 12.2 inches

Average Weight: 2.8 - 5.8 ounces

Wingspan: 20.1 - 24 inches

Life Span: 5 – 10 years in the wild, up to 17 years in captivity.

Description: American kestrels have pale underparts with reddish-brown backs, spotted with black. Males have slate blue wings. Both males and females have striking, vertical black stripes under their eyes.

Call: A loud series of 3 to 6 short notes, “klee-klee-klee!”

Range: American kestrels are found throughout the United States and Central and South America year-round. In the summer they can be found in Canada.

Habitat: Meadows, grasslands, and farm fields, as well as in parks, urban and suburban areas.

Diet: Their diet includes insects, such as grasshoppers and cicadas, as well as small mammals such as mice and moles.

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Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)

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Our resident Great Horned owl came to us as a juvenile owl from Kent, Washington in March of 2014. She was imprinted as a young owlet, which means that she grew up around humans, not owls. She doesn’t act like a wild owl should. With owls it is very difficult to know what gender they are because both the male and female look the same. As of the spring of 2016, we are proud to announce that our Great Horned owl is a female! She laid her first eggs in March, cementing the fact that she is a female. When you visit our aviary, she is located in the second mew from the right. While you are there, see if you can find some of her “toys” lying about the ground. She is a big hit when we bring her along for educational programming.

Average Height: 18-26 inches

Average Weight: 2.5 – 3.5 pounds

Wingspan: 4 – 5 feet

Life Span: 15 to 20 years

Description: The Great Horned Owl is a large, brown owl with horizontal barring on its underparts. They have distinctive feather tufts, which are often mistaken as ears.

Call: A series of low hoots, “hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo.”

Range: Great Horned Owls are found throughout the United States and Canada, as well as parts of Central and South America.

Habitat: Great Horns have a broad range of habitats, including coniferous and deciduous forests, open woodlands, swamps, and can even be found in cities, suburbs and parks.

Diet: Great Horned Owls have a diet of various small mammals that includes: mice, rabbits, and skunks, as well as other small animals such as frogs, snakes and even other birds.

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