Julie Cotton on "California Raptor Center"

On today’s episode of “That’s Life” Lois Richter interviews Julie Cotton, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for the California Raptor Center (CRC), which is located on the UC Davis campus and works in collaboration with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The objectives of the CRC are many: from educational outreach to rehabilitating wild raptors back to health for re-release.  Additionally, the CRC provides a sanctuary for injured birds who cannot return to the wild, which affords the opportunity for the public to interact and learn about these majestic creatures. Speaking of raptors—what are they? The term conjures up Jurassic Park for many but Julie explains it was bogarted by producers to refer to dinosaurs—but the term actually refers to birds who hunt with their feet, specifically. In fact, this is the very thing that makes a raptor a raptor.  Under the umbrella of raptors, you will find owls, hawks, eagles and the like.  Additionally, raptors are obligate carnivores and have excellent vision. The CRC location is not accidental—the Central Valley has a high concentration of raptors; however, there are other raptor centers throughout the country.  At the CRC, 200-300 birds are brought in each year and the re-release rate is between 50-60%. Julie explains to listeners about the cautions one should take when finding a baby raptor or an injured bird; for one, keeping a found baby raptor is illegal.  One should immediately surrender the hatchling to a local wildlife center. The worst possible thing a person can do is keep a wild bird and subject it to human imprinting—a permanent change to the animal’s behavior that will render it unable to return to the wild. Throughout the interview Lois sprinkles in her own anecdotes about birds in Davis and Julie peppers in lots of interesting facts about birds. Tune in to learn more! The next open house at the CRC is May 6th, 2017 where they will hold a biannual Hawk Walk.  For more information about the event as well as the CRC in general, go to www.californiaraptor.org.

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