California Raptor Center

Help Save Hawks

Our Story
Nearly 40 years ago, the California Raptor Center opened its doors to injured and orphaned hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls - magnificent creatures who ride the wind and hunt on the wing. Working with the expert veterinarians at UC Davis, and with our trained staff and volunteers, CRC has become an outstanding rehabilitation and educational organization, an asset to California and to nature lovers everywhere.

At CRC we have taken in literally thousands of raptors, from the threatened Swainson's Hawk to the fierce Great Horned Owl, from the powerful Golden Eagle to the tiny Saw-whet Owl. Of all we treat, more than 65 percent live to fly and hunt in the wild once again.

Today the California Raptor Center has lost its official funding - to survive we depend entirely on donations. We are asking individuals, corporations, and nature groups everywhere to help us give the gift of  life. 

The Impact
Why Do Raptors Matter?

First, they connect us with our planet: That surge of feeling we get as we watch a hawk soaring high on the wind - is it admiration? Longing? A wordless tie to some life force? Whatever its name, that fleeting thread connects us to the world we live in. 

For millions of years, these birds have sailed the skies. Our very first ancestors saw them and revered them. Yet they have come to grief through human actions. Today they are mangled by cars, broken by wind turbines, smashed by windows, shot, poisoned, electrocuted. Sometimes the damage is deliberate. Often it is by accident. Grieving people bring them to us and ask us to save them. 

Second, they show us the impact of today's actions on the future. Raptors, like humans, are at the top of their food chain. What happens to them can, like the canary in the mines, warn of an approaching problem in our own lives. In 1970, for example, scientists saw that DDT, the "miracle" pesticide of the 1950s and 60s, was, to the Bald Eagle, the Osprey, the Peregrine Falcon, a "miracle of death." This poison permeated our waters and contaminated their very flesh. They came within a breath of extinction. Their response to DDT let us act in time to save ourselves from a similar insidious deterioration in health. We stopped the use of this toxic substance just in time to spare our children.

Third, they remind us that each of us can indeed make a difference in another's life: Rescuing one Red-tailed Hawk will not save a species, but it lets that one bird return to its life, its mate, its young. And we, by helping it, teach our children and ourselves to experience and value an act of compassion. 

Finally: For their own sakes. Every one of them deserves a second chance.

This Campaign is for the Birds
We need $200,000 each year to run the California Raptor Center, $20,000 just to feed our birds. The $5,000 we seek in this campaign will help to feed the birds the pubic brings in for treatment (we charge nothing for this service) and to care for our permanent residents - non-releasable former "patients" who now take part in our educational programs, where one bird is worth 1,000 words. 

Anything we get over our goal in this campaign we will use to jump-start our next: Baby Season. We raise more than 100 young birds every year - we even get in eggs to incubate. From egg to fledgling to release takes up to three months. And like all growing creatures, these youngsters need great quantities of the right food to develop strong bones and muscles.  

What We Need & What You Get
Today we are campaigning for funds to buy three months of top-quality frozen rats, mice, quail, and fish (for the Bald Eagle). These donations will also buy us time: Helping us support a bird who has been treated but is not releasable, while we work to place it with another licensed education group. Or providing a secure basis to prepare for the upcoming influx of orphans. Or letting us continue to travel to schools and nature groups to teach children about our environment and the magnificent creatures who share it with us. 

So: help us keep our doors open to the injured and orphaned raptors that you, the public, bring us. We appreciate any help you can give. 

For raptors, flight is life. Give the gift of flight.

Other Ways You Can Help
Visit our on-site museum and store. Tell your friends about CRC.