First and foremost, Ojai Raptor Center is a fully functional and permitted wildlife rehabilitation center, specializing in birds of prey. Every year we take in 500-1000 sick, injured or orphaned birds (including many non-raptor birds, and a small percentage of mammals) with the hopes of rehabilitating them and releasing them back to the wild. Our busiest time of year is nesting season, when our center becomes inundated with orphaned birds that need our help to grow, learn to fly, feed themselves and socialize before their release. Our 4 acre campus is comprised of a medical room and hospital, as well as outdoor flights, aviaries and mews. All of our housing is specialized to the specie that will be placed in it. Our center also features the largest flight in California. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and do not receive funding from government agencies; though we are permitted by both the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. We rely heavily on our community for donations. The majority of the animal patients we receive are also brought in directly from the public. We are run by a small staff and a large group of volunteers that give up their time to do wildlife education, animal care, transport, help with events, and never-ending center maintenance. Beyond wildlife rehabilitation, our Wildlife Education Program is supremely important to us and the work that we do. We are committed to teaching the public about our local raptor species, and how human interaction affects them. Through wildlife education we hope to inspire people to learn more about birds of prey and how to protect them. We achieve wildlife education by going to as many public events as possible with our education ambassadors- the 20 non-releasable birds of prey who live at the center. Many people will never get the chance to learn about birds of prey live and up close. We also take pride in teaching kids. Every month we go to several schools to perform education programs for children. We hope that the next generation will have a love and respect for birds of prey, their important place in our ecosystem, and our shared environment.
ORC was founded and is directed by Kimberly Stroud, who started her training at the Raptor Rehabilitation and Release Program in 1992. In 1994 she co-founded Wildlife Care of Ventura, where they received permits from California State and US Federal Fish & Wildlife Agencies, and then went on to found Ojai Raptor Center in 2000.