Did you know… that there are raptors living among us?
Raptors (birds of prey) have inspired a wonder in humans for thousands of years and it’s easy to understand why. Their ferocity, beauty, power, intelligence, and ability to live high above our heads captivate our imagination and triggers our curiosity. Just watching them glide through the air with wings spread wide evokes an awe and respect in all of us.
Unfortunately, over the years there has been a decline in the raptor population due to human effect. Studies have shown that human-associated disturbance is the primary threat to our raptor populations. Ventura County’s skies were once filled with the site of hawks, eagles, falcons and owls gliding along over our hills, plains and river’s edge. But now they are sharing the same fate as most of the other wildlife that competes with man for open space. Their numbers diminish each year as creeks are channeled between concrete embankments or fields and hillsides are landscaped with buildings, asphalt, homes and lawns.
Saving our feathered friends
Groups like the Ojai Raptor Center (ORC) are working hard to help protect and save these amazing creatures. The ORC is a local non-profit wildlife rehabilitation facility located in Ojai and takes in an average of 1,000 animals a year. They specialize in raptors with the goal of rescuing, rehabilitating and ultimately releasing them back into the wild when they are ready.
Annual open house
While the center is closed to the general public year-round, they do open their doors every once in a while by holding special events that give us a glimpse into their amazing work. Typically, they hold an annual open house. Check out their website for further information on when the next open house is scheduled.
During their open houses, you can see the Center’s trained, non-releasable “ambassador” raptors and have a rare, up-close encounter with these amazing creatures. There are usueally lots of fun activities for kids, stage presentations, Chumash stories, snacks and refreshments.