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Orphaned owls form big happy family at Raptor Center
"The eight barn owls come from two different nests," said Jaye Moore, the Center's founder and executive director. "The youngest five came freshly hatched to the Center on April 19, brought in by employees of the Olympic Game Farm who felt they had disturbed their nest in a hay barn. The oldest three were a few weeks old when they were rescued on April 22 after falling out of a different, inaccessible nest in a different barn in Sequim. After being independently stabilized, all eight owls are now under the care and tutelage of two adult female barn owls who are permanent residents of the Center due to incurable wing injuries. It's one big happy family."
"Surrogate parenting using adults of the same species is the ideal way to raise healthy orphaned wildlife," said Matthew Randazzo, the Center's Public Relations Director and newly elected President. "Our surrogate moms laid unfertilized eggs this year that they had been sitting on, so all we had to do was replace the unhatched eggs with the hatched babies. The moms are extremely happy and extremely protective of their owlets. Since the surrogate moms cannot hunt due to wing injuries, we provide them with rodents to feed to the babies, but they do everything else. In a couple months, these young barn owls will be full-grown, their instincts will have kicked in, and their moms will have given them the knowledge they need to survive."
Daily updates on the owls can be found at www.facebook.com/northwestraptorcenter, and donations can be made to their care at www.nwraptorcenter.com. It is both dangerous to the wildlife and illegal to provide civilians and Center visitors with access to the owlets, so the Center asks that no one visit or call the Center to request to the see the owlets. The Center is a medical rehabilitation facility that is accessible to the public only through prior appointment and donation, and then only to a limited degree.