2020 Winter Newsletter | Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."
-Helen Keller
A Message from our Executive Director
Welcome 2020
Dear Supporters,

Thank you for all the support you have given us this past year. We have been gearing up for our prioritized projects that we plan to start on right away this year. Below we shared pictures of the areas or projects we are geared up to begin with. We need your help or resource information for all of these projects. You should contact Doris Duncan, Executive Director on her work cell at 707-486-0226 or email to scwrdoris@scwildliferescue.org if you would like more details or can provide assistance. 

The Aquatic Mammal Enclosure (AME) water feature was gifted to us by Aquascape Custom Crafted Pools and completed in 2012, after 3 years of planning and building. The saying “If you build it, they will come”, holds true with high demand on usage locally and statewide. We are building a small nursery area below the big pond. Infant and juvenile otters and beavers will have their own private mini pond and accompanying den house to learn and grow in, until it is safe to move them into the larger part of the enclosure.
Our Aquatic Mammal Enclosure (AME) looking towards the future nursery area.
The area of the AME where
the new nursery will be built.
The Apex Predator Enclosure (APE) is in the very beginning planning stages. We have been following the trail of the black bears and are seeing steady population growth here in Sonoma County. We have just been issued a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to rehabilitate black bear cubs. This is a huge honor and brings many responsibilities, as there are only 2 licensed rehabilitation facilities in the state that hold permits to do this. This enclosure is being planned and built with consideration to other large predator species that may need our help in the future.
The future site of our Apex Predator Enclosure.
The Dove and Pigeon Enclosure that was built in 1999, constructed and transported 3 different times, has reached the end of it’s life span and was dismantled and recycled for safety reasons. We have plans underway for this much needed enclosure and are prioritizing this project as we currently are without this specialized resource.
The area where our Dove and Pigeon Enclosure will be built.
The Wildlife Education Barn (WEB) is in line for remodeling as this current tour meeting place is in need of some love after the United States Coast Guard built this for us in 2008. The wind and rain blast in pretty hard year after year and we would like to reach out to any architect professionals for help with the planning for a more updated meeting place.
Our current Wildlife Education Barn, in need of major updates.
Our Wildlife Friendly Backyard has been waiting to blossom and grow into a place where the public can end it’s tour of our facility, learning how they can support our pollinators. It will have great examples for people to incorporate pieces of these displays into to their own outdoor living spaces. We are planning a small water feature with native landscaping and signage to educate our community on the needs and valuable contributions butterflies, birds, bees and bats provide to the ecosystem.
Our Wildlife Friendly Backyard will provide valuable resources
to the community and native wildlife.
Thank you,
Doris Duncan
Executive Director
If you would like to email Doris Duncan regarding any of these projects:
Upcoming Events
Pints for Paws - March 23rd

An annual benefit for Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue at Lagunitas Brewing Company to support local wildlife. Join us at Lagunitas Brewing Compa ny’s Tap Room and cheers to saving the lives of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife throughout Sonoma County! Proudly featuring music from Nicole Sutton & Mark McGee of LuvPlanet . Dinner will be provided by Preferred Sonoma Caterers with vegan and gluten free options available (included with ticket purchase.) Win fabulous prizes at our silent raffle. One great party, all for the love of wildlife.

Click here to learn more or purchase tickets!
Saturday Tours at SCWR

Observe several native and non-native species including coyotes, fox, mountain lions, skunk, opossum and raccoons! We begin the tour with a presentation about our organization and how the center facilities and animal enclosures were built.

Tours are held on Saturdays at 2 PM from October through April. The suggested donation for the tour is $25 for adults and $10 for children 4-12 years of age. Children 3 years of age and younger are free. Please make reservations in advance to guarantee a spot.

Click here to learn more about our Saturday tours!
Community Spotlight
Bring Back the Beaver Campaign

The Bring Back the Beaver Campaign, launched by the Occidental Art & Ecology Center's WATER Institute, is a program created to educate the public about the importance of native keystone species, like the North American Beaver. Led by Kate Lundquist, the group promotes the water storage benefits that the beaver affords both humans and the environment, such as increasing our resilience to drought and climate change. Bring Back the Beaver has been tracking beaver throughout Northern California and have been an excellent source of knowledge for our animal care team while working with the orphaned beavers in care at SCWR.

Thank you to Bring Back the Beaver for being an outstanding resource to the community and steward for wildlife! To learn more about their cause, please visit www.OAEC.org/beaver.
BOMP Corner - Fostering Orphaned Barn Owls
Every year, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue receives orphaned barn owls from all over Sonoma County. While SCWR is able to raise an orphaned barn owl from a newly hatched owlet to a fully fledged juvenile, we know that barn owls succeed far better in the wild than in the high stress environment of captivity. Fostering orphaned barn owls with wild mothers was the motivation that led to what our BOMP Program is today.

In 2012 Doris Duncan, our Executive Director and founder of SCWR's Barn Owl Maintenance Program, set out to find suitable barn owl boxes to foster orphaned barn owls. Instead, she found a much larger problem. The barn owl boxes that she inspected were in extreme disrepair. Many were falling apart, had never been maintained or were unsafe for barn owls and their young causing mothers to abandon their eggs or their young. Over the next several years, our BOMP program would develop to provide reasonable solutions to all of these issues, including finding suitable homes for orphaned barn owls.

In 2018, we received a group of five orphaned barn owls that were found in a hay shipment from an unknown location and were unable to be returned to their home in the wild. As we were in the height of our spring research, we knew just the place to bring the owls to foster them with wild mothers,Terra de Promissio Winery in Petaluma. One by one each owl was placed into a box with their wild mothers and their new siblings. At the last box, Doris found a mother still sitting on unhatched eggs. She placed the orphan in the box and returned a week later to see if our efforts were successful. Much to her delight, she found the fostered owlet, the foster mother and the newly hatched siblings all thriving in the box. This was the first time that we were able to see a successful fostered barn owl alongside it's younger siblings! Check out the footage of the barn owl family in the video to the right.

If you're interested in becoming eligible for our barn owl fostering program, don't forget to sign up for spring research starting in April. If you do not have an existing barn owl box but are interested in our BOMP program, visit our coalition website here for more information!
Animal Care Spotlight
Learning to Fly Again
This juvenile Red Tailed Hawk came into Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue after it was rescued by a member of our staff from Wells Fargo Center of the Arts in Windsor. The hawk was found wandering on the ground for an extended amount of time, so the finder reached out to the rescue for help. Once we got the hawk to the center, our animal care team found that the hawk had a fractured humerus bone which is the upper most bone in extension of the limb. While humerus fractures can be extremely tricky to heal, after two weeks of keeping the wing tightly wrapped and 3 weeks of rest, the fracture had healed and the hawk was ready to begin physical therapy.
Raptor wing bone structure with humerus bone indicated.
Successful physical therapy is critical when conditioning an injured hawk to return to the wild. Though the fracture had healed, the muscles were severely weakened while not in use. To survive in the wild, the hawk needs to regain it's previous endurance and strength. Over the past several weeks, our animal care team has been flight training this hawk every day to help it rebuild it's strength. During this therapy, our animal care team will walk from one side of it's MEW to the other, getting the hawk to fly to the opposite end. Thanks to our specialized Raptor Recovery Center, this hawk has 100 feet of flight room while his recovery continues and he has been increasing in the amount of lengths he is able to fly before tiring out. Hopefully, this hawk will continue to improve over the next month and will return to the skies of Sonoma County very soon!
A behind the scenes tour of our Raptor Recovery Center by Dr. Dan Famini.
While we were able to heal this hawks fracture without major surgery, the cost for bandage care, medication, food and staff time over the past two months has been close to $500 - and this is just the cost of care for one of the many animals in care. If you would like to donate to this hawk's care please click the link below!
Newsletter Flashback
Updates from our Fall 2019 Newsletter.
Flat Broke Farm Update -

A Letter from Erica Rushing, Executive Director of Flat Broke Farm Animal Rescue:

We are seeing a great depletion in the number of rodents on the farm, our staff is so incredibly grateful to SCWR for their support and expertise in this very challenging yet common situation in Sonoma County.

With the support of Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue and their amazing donors we now have completed the first phases of rat removal and building security. We began by hauling away all excess manure.Then, with a fantastic team from SCWR, we cleared a 45'x65’ barn of hiding places and nests where the rodents had found shelter. A 20’ metal shipping container was purchased and installed on concrete blocks to safely store our emergency supplies and blankets. We also had 24 tons of fresh base rock spread on the pathways to fill rodent tunnels and prevent injuries to animals, guests and volunteers who use them.

Thanks to a generous donor who clearly cares a lot about not only wildlife but domestic animals, SCWR was able to install three beautifully constructed owl boxes to encourage natural rodent control. We are very excited to see these homes become occupied!


Erica Rushing
Executive Director
Flat Broke Farm Animal Rescue
SCWR Team assists with clean out of barn.
New shipping container for storage and 24 tons of fresh base rock.
One of Three Barn Owl Boxes Installed at Flat Broke Farm thanks to a generous donor.

Bobkitten Update

Our young bobkitten continues to grow and thrive under the care of BOCA, our education ambassador bobcat. One of the risks of raising a bobcat from less than a week old is that they will habituate to the people who raise them and not carry a healthy fear of humans into the wild with them. This is one of the many reasons why we are so lucky to have the opportunity of raising this orphan with another bobcat. We're happy to say that this young bobkitten is hidding from staff who enter the enclosure and we hope that this vital behavior continues until the bobkitten is ready for release back into the wild. Currently, we're waiting for the bobkitten's adult canines to come in before we begin to evaluate it for release back into the wild!
The growing bobkitten with our education ambassador, BOCA in their enclosure.
Support Your Local Wildlife!
Donate Today!
Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that relies on donations from the public to rehabilitate the 1,000+ animals we receive each year. We do not receive any government funding. Our annual operating budget is $950,000, which means it costs almost $2,600 per day to keep our doors open.  Any donation helps!
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