This is Soren, a male Barn owl. He comes from Eastern WA where he was found hidden under the hay in a barn. The person accidentally stepped on him, not seeing him there. Soren is a “human imprint” meaning that he didn’t get the benefit of seeing his parents when his eyes focused, instead he saw a human. Raptors, like ducklings, imprint on the face they see first and then that is what they think they are. He also has an injury to his left eye which is blind. He is 9 years old and will remain as an educational ambassador for the rest of his life. Barn owls can live into their twenties with proper care. He eats three mice each night!
Rider, a Swainson's Hawk, was found in Eastern Washington on a golf course as a small baby hawk. The person who found her did not realize that by keeping her in their shop that she would imprint on human faces and that is what she did. Like some of our other birds, Rider is a human imprint. She was confiscated, which is a good reminder to anyone who thinks of keeping a wild bird - it is against State and Federal law and you can get a fine for doing so. Rider was sent to a rehabilitation facility where she began her training to be an education ambassador. She is now at DBWBR and happy to come out and meet you at your school or event.
Gandalf came from the Estancia Valley in New Mexico, home of White Sands Missile Range. He became trapped in a water tower and bounced around until someone heard him inside. When he was rescued his wing was damaged and he lost a part of the end, this meant that he could no longer fly well enough for release. Gandalf the Great Horned owl is unique because he is known as white phase - he is lacking pigment in his normal feather color which makes him more white. Now living in an area like White Sands he was at an advantage with his coloring making him blend in to his surroundings. Here in the forest he would stand out and not be able to hunt and maybe not survive. Is this an example of Darwinism? In any case, Gandalf is a beauty to behold. He is 12 years old and lives with his buddy Dillon!
This is Savannah, our Ferruginous Hawk, found in New Mexico in a hangar on Kirkland Air Force Base, she lost the bone in the end of her wing while trying to escape. She is 13 years old now and came here to Washington because she needed a new home due to a closure at a facility where she was an ambassador bird. She resided there for 10 years and met thousands of kids and adults in education programs. These hawks are named after the iron color of their feathers. They are the largest hawks in North America. In WA they are listed as a threatened species due mostly to habitat loss.
Dillon the Great Horned owl comes from the Dillon Ranch in New Mexico where he got tangled in a barbed wire fence and lost part of his wing. That means that some of the bone is missing that powers the wing so he can not fly. Owls depend on their ability to fly completely silent to catch their prey. Dillon has been captive for more than 10 years and is completely comfortable being around people and shares his home with his buddy Gandalf! Invite Dillon to your school to meet him in person and hear how quiet his feathers are!
This is Flash, he is our Perlin and he is a hybrid cross between a Peregrine and a Merlin Falcon. Bred by a falconer so that he could be flown to go and recover quail and not eat them himself. It is interesting that they are allowed to hybridize falcons.
We have him because he ended up smaller then they like so he is now a member of our education team! He is imprinted on humans, and because of this, and the fact he is a hybrid, he can never be released into the wild gene pool!
This is Luna our Peregrine Falcon ambassador bird. She came to us from Center Valley Road where she was found under a wire fence. We discovered that she had severed the muscle from her right wing while chasing something for her meal and went flying at top speed through the wire. Wire fencing is a problem for many of our raptors because they don’t often see a single wire, and if it is wire fencing that covers an area they can get caught in it and damage their wings trying to escape. We knew Luna would never fly at over 200 mph like a healthy peregrine falcon but she has a good home with us where she eats quail, mice and chicken. They do prefer birds as it is the main staple of a falcon’s diet. Did you know that females are larger than males in all the raptor species?
Ruby, our Red-Tailed Hawk also comes to us from New Mexico where she was a teaching bird for 10 years. She has met thousands of people, and they have learned more about hawks and their important role in the environment. Ruby was hit by a car when she was a young bird and has a damaged right eye. She sees a veterinarian on a regular schedule to check for glaucoma in that eye. As a permanent resident it is our job to keep her healthy! She eats large rats, chicken and mice in captivity. Red-tailed Hawks are commonly seen along the freeways where they may look for prey that are feeding on the garbage people throw from their cars. That is probably how she got hurt so long ago. Remember not to be a litter-bug, you never know what it can lead to.
We are fortunate to have Eve, a Prairie Falcon, as one of our special bird ambassadors! She was caught in a wire fence when she took her maiden flight. The right wing was severely damaged; all the soft tissue was torn up in her struggle to get free. She was taken to WSU in Pullman for treatment - Prairie Falcons are found in Eastern Washington. There, she received treatment with a cold laser which helped to heal and save her wing! Even though the wing was saved she lost the ability to fly because of the damage to the muscle. She needed a home as an educational bird so I picked her up on Christmas Eve. Prairie Falcons are cousins to the famous Peregrine but don’t do the spectacular dives at over 200 mph. Eve thrills kids and adults when they meet her in person, both with her story and her beauty!
Rosie is an American Kestrel who came to us after being found on the ground under the nest. When found they realized something was wrong with her. She has a curvature of the cervical vertebrae and will never be able to be completely straight. She is not uncomfortable but will never be able to hunt properly and would eventually starve if left on her own. She came to us as a youngster, after being evaluated by veterinarians, the decision was made to keep her in captivity and take care of her for the rest of her life. Rosie is one of our educational ambassadors and loves being around for you to learn all about Kestrels, the smallest member of the falcon family!
E-Jay is our educational Saw-whet Owl who came from Olympia after being hit by a car and losing the sight in his right eye. We have trained him to sit on a glove and to be comfortable being around people. He is a very good sport and does his job well. Everyone loves to meet a saw-whet owl because they are very special. Those big eyes soften everyone’s heart! Saw-Whet owls, like most owls, are nocturnal and eat mostly small rodents, and occasionally birds or insects. Here at the Center he lives in a very nice enclosure which he can fly around in or go into his nest box and just take a nap!
Pippin is a Northern Pygmy Owl who came to us from Olympia where he was hit by a car. Pippin, who is a little bigger than the size of a sparrow, lost a part of his wing due to the damage he sustained. A veterinarian was able to clean up and take off the damaged portion but that left him unable to fly. Pygmy owls are small but mighty and in the wild can eat birds that are even bigger than they are. Because they prey on songbirds they are a diurnal owl. The really interesting thing about these small owls is that they have false eyes on the backs of their heads to confuse predators that might want to eat them! This helps them to get away!! If you want a visit from Pippin please look at our educational page for more information on requesting a program at your school.
Adopt a seabird! We have some of the most beautiful waterways in the world surrounding us and we see the unique and special birds that live on these waters. They are harmed by so many of the human activities for which we use the water every day. They are often hit by boats, caught in fishing line and nets, get hooks caught in their bills, are contaminated by oils and other products spilled in the water, and suffer from the lack of forage fish that are in lower numbers. These are birds like Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots, Tufted Puffins, and sea ducks of numerous varieties. Here at DBWBR we have the pools and know-how to save these precious birds and get them back into our bays. By adopting a seabird you can help to pay for the herring and lake smelt that they eat while recovering. Please don’t let us forget this special bird that we have the privilege of seeing in Washington waters! Maybe you know someone who would love the gift of giving one of them another chance in the wild.
On the Olympic Peninsula we have year round resident Anna's Hummingbirds and seasonal visitor Rufous Hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are jewels on wings and bring joy to anyone who sees them! Unfortunately, we see them injured and cold, dehydrated and starving. Because they need specialized care we have developed diets and housing just for these flying marvels. In spring we have the Rufous Hummingbirds nesting in our area but we also see Anna’s Hummingbirds throughout the year as they remain through the winter. As a result we have to be ready to treat them at any time. If you want to help by adopting one of these birds we will send you more about an individual bird, it’s story and care and eventual release! Having hummingbird feeders is a fun way to watch these amazing little aviators at your home and in your garden. How to make nectar for hummingbirds.
Adopt a Songbird! At DBWBR we love the small songbirds that live in our backyards and all around us. Passerines are perching birds that have three toes forward and one back and they can grab onto a branch and perch there. Woodpeckers have two toes forward and two toes back and they can climb vertically. They both come in all shapes and sizes and all have special housing and diet considerations. Cedar waxwings, robins, even woodpeckers come to DBWBR due to many kinds of injuries. No bird is too small for us to fix. Even the tiniest legs and wings can be splinted and healed after a window strike or cat attack. We see at least 120+ songbirds each year. Most of them are orphaned babies in the spring and summer that need to be raised and released. All of the many types of birds we see such as wrens, bushtits, flickers, and swallows have very unique diets and habitat requirements. Helping us to provide for them through adoption insures that these birds continue to fill our backyards, parks and neighborhoods with their joyous songs!