Winking screech owl

I’ve been very good (wink wink)

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

We have several wildlife sanctuaries here in San Diego County. One of them is Sky Hunters in Lakeside. Sky Hunters is a non-profit group dedicated to informing the public about raptors and birds of prey, and promoting raptor conservation.

I got this picture of a beautiful Western Screech Owl winking at me last December at a Sky Hunters presentation:

Winking screech owl

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The birds that Sky Hunters uses in its presentations are either injured and cannot be returned to the wild, or they have become accustomed to humans and cannot be relied on to hunt on their own if they were to be returned to the wild.

Most people don’t know the proper care and handling instructions for injured birds and can end up accidentally hurting themselves or the bird. If you come across an injured hawk or owl, or any bird, first protect yourself by wearing gloves and covering the bird with a towel or blanket.

Get the bird into a cardboard box with air holes as a temporary container to move it to safety. Don’t try to pet it or feed it. Once contained, move it somewhere warm, dark, and quiet. Then immediately call a licensed rehabilitation group. Don’t wait! Here in San Diego we have Sky Hunters (619-445-6565) and Project Wildlife (619-225-9453), and their phones generally are answered 24/7.

The San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld San Diego also have animal rescue services, but they generally work with the larger animals — mountain lions, whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, etc. Start with Sky Hunters and Project Wildlife, and if they can’t help you, they will know where to send you.

If it’s a larger animal, such as an opossum or raccoon, it’s best to simply call an animal rescue service. Some wild animals carry diseases that can be transmittted to humans, so don’t take a chance. There’s a reason wildlife has wild in it. These creatures don’t know that you are trying to help.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


11 thoughts on “I’ve been very good (wink wink)

  1. kelihasablog

    Great blog… You’re too far away for me to call in if needed, lol, but we had a baby or small hawk fly into my daughter’s screened porch the other day. I thought it was a regular bird and was going to just take it off the screen and let it go outside. Then, I rounded the chair and saw those claws… LOl… OOPS, I decided that I would just hold the small pups around the corner so they wouldn’t scare him to death… My hubby tapped him slightly with the broom and he flew out. It was beautiful, but the pups are very small… so my daughter was envisioning them as his dinner… 😀 Enjoyed reading…:D


  2. poetjena

    What a ultra-cool question that is! “May I camp out in your blog?”…. heck, Yes!
    Are you kidding me?

    I am slowly metamorphing into an amateur photography freak, a scary proposition for someone with little to zero know-how about how technical things work, but what the heck!

    A pleasure to have you drop by my blog. Thankful for all my visitors.

    Adore that postage stamp.
    Love the creativity I find here!


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Believe it or not, I did have one person say no. He found it “inconvenient” when I would stop by and leave 10 likes and 2-3 comments, resulting in him getting 12-13 emails from WordPress.


  3. Deliberately Delicious

    What a gorgeous photo! I have an owl who spends time in my back yard in the winter. I love to hear his (her?) calls throughout the night. Thanks for coming by recently to my blog for a camp out. I’ve finally found my way to California for a little visit to your blog. (And I promise to leave it in pristine condition, as you did on mine).



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