Wildlife Ambassador Profile: Olivia the Barred Owl

Olivia the Barred Owl is one of our newest Raptor Center residents. Olivia came to Lorain County Metro Parks September 2019, transferred from the Medina Raptor Center.  It is estimated that this bird hatched in 2017 although it remains a mystery how long after that she was found by a human who took her, a healthy Barred Owl, from the wild and into his basement.

Despite what the magical wizarding world would lead you to believe, owls do not make good pets!  It takes a good deal of skill and proper knowledge to care for owls properly so that they remain happy and healthy in the care of people.  One major necessity is that Owls and other raptors need proper perching inside enclosures they can move about safely without injury. Sadly, that is not what happened with Olivia.  By the time she was discovered being held in an individual’s basement illegally without the proper state and federal permits, she had damaged both wingtips from trying to escape the metal wire caging she was in. Olivia sustained permanent wing damage from this housing and is unable to fly long distances. As a result, Olivia is not able to survive on her own in the wild, and calls Carlisle Reservation her permanent home.  

Sadly, this situation could have been avoided by letting a wild animal stay wild. Olivia serves as a great reminder in her role as wildlife ambassador to enjoy wildlife from a distance in their own habitat.  Remember if you see an animal that is injured and needs help to contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator (contact information below) as they have the proper permits and skill set to give appropriate care as needed.

The Raptor Center of Lorain County Metro Parks, located at the Carlisle Visitor Center in LaGrange, is a facility dedicated to the professional care and management of non-releasable raptors.  All the birds here in human care have sustained permanent injuries that prevent them from being able to survive on their own in the wild. Currently we have nine non-releasable birds that call the Raptor Center home. 

Olivia and the other wildlife program ambassador raptors are on display daily 8am-4:30pm.  Do you have a question about him or any other of our wildlife program ambassadors at Carlisle?  Email any and all questions you have to the Avian Program Curator Mary Ewers Joyner at mewers@loraincountymetroparks.com. Your question just might be featured in an upcoming Animal Pen Pal video! New questions are answered every Monday and Wednesday morning at 10:30am on our Face Book page. 

Check out this link to get more information on Barred Owls:
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/barred-owl

If you see an injured animal and need to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, start with these links:

http://www.owra.org/findOH

https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/wildlife-inquiries

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Wildlife Ambassador Profile: Stewart the Barred Owl

Stewart the Barred Owl is one of our few wildlife program ambassadors to call Lorain County Metro Parks home that were hatched in a different state. He was found in a ditch in Murray, Kentucky on June 1, 2007.  Stewart was kept by these individuals without seeking medical help for his injuries for two days, feeding him hot dogs and bologna.  Stewart did not know what to do with this “food” and consequently had nothing to eat for some time.  On June 3, he was admitted to the Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky facility in Louisville.  Care providers there discovered that Stewart had injured his right wrist and was extremely emaciated.  His weight and health improved with a proper diet, however his wing injury is permanent, leaving him with limited flight capabilities.  Unfortunately loss of flight means he would not have been able to survive in the wild.  Instead, Stewart was transferred to the Lorain County Metro Parks Raptor Center on August 5, 2007 and has been a wildlife program ambassador for his species ever since. 

The Raptor Center of Lorain County Metro Parks, located at the Carlisle Visitor Center in LaGrange, is a facility dedicated to the professional care and management of non-releasable raptors.  All the birds here in human care have sustained permanent injuries that prevent them from being able to survive on their own in the wild. Currently we have nine non-releasable birds that call the Raptor Center home. 

Stewart and the other wildlife program ambassador raptors are on display daily 8am-4:30pm.  Do you have a question about him or any other of our wildlife program ambassadors at Carlisle?  Email any and all questions you have to the Avian Program Curator Mary Ewers Joyner at mewers@loraincountymetroparks.com. Your question just might be featured in an upcoming Animal Pen Pal video! New questions are answered every Monday and Wednesday morning at 10:30am on our Face Book page. 

Stewart the Barred Owl has a permanent wing injury.

Check out this link to get more information on Barred Owls:
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/barred-owl

If you see an injured animal and need to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, start with these links:

http://www.owra.org/findOH

https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/wildlife-inquiries

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Wildlife Ambassador Profile: Smokey the Eastern Screech-owl

He may look like a cute, baby owl, but don’t let his size fool you! Smokey the Eastern Screech-owl is a full sized owl. In fact, he is 15 years old this year, making him very much a senior citizen in the Screech-owl world.  Smokey has been in human care since he was two weeks old.  He arrived at Back to the Wild wildlife rehabilitation facility in Castalia Ohio in May of 2005 after being found lying in a driveway in a town near Sandusky.  It’s unclear how long he was lying there, but he was dehydrated and covered in ants.  The staff at Back to the Wild brought Smokey back to health with the use of Pedialyte and other medicine.  A surrogate mother Screech Owl at the facility fed him just like his wild mother would have. Although Smokey sprang back to life, he had lost vision in one eye.  It’s not clear if he was born with only one functional eye, or if it was a result of his fall from the nest.   Either way, this injury prevents him from being able to survive on his own in the wild.  Smokey came to his forever home here at the Raptor Center on July 25, 2005.   

The Raptor Center of Lorain County Metro Parks, located at the Carlisle Visitor Center in LaGrange, is a facility dedicated to the professional care and management of non-releasable raptors.  All the birds here in human care have sustained permanent injuries that prevent them from being able to survive on their own in the wild. Eye and wing injuries prevent raptors from hunting successfully. Imprinted birds that weren’t raised by bird parents, but human caretakers, do not learn the hunting and foraging skills needed to find food on their own.  Currently we have nine non-releasable birds that call the Raptor Center home. 

Smokey along with the other wildlife program ambassador raptors are on display daily 8am-4:30pm.  Do you have a question about him or any other of our wildlife program ambassadors at Carlisle?  Email any and all questions you have to the Avian Program Curator Mary Ewers Joyner at mewers@loraincountymetroparks.com. Your question just might be featured in an upcoming Animal Pen Pal video! New questions are answered every Monday and Wednesday morning at 10:30am on our Face Book page. 

Smokey the Eastern Screech-owl has a permanent eye injury

Check out this link to get more information on Eastern Screech-owls:
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/eastern-screech-owl

If you see an injured animal and need to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, start with these links:

http://www.owra.org/findOH

https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/wildlife-inquiries

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Wildlife Ambassador Profile: Havoc the Peregrine Falcon

Havoc is our only resident falcon, although Peregrine Falcons are just one of three falcon species that call Ohio home. The other falcons to grace our skies are the American Kestrel and the less common Merlin.  Havoc came from a local nest below the Hilliard Road bridge in Lakewood that at one point was monitored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Therefore we know a great deal about his early life!  Havoc was hatched on April 16, 2005. Havoc’s parents were two Peregrine Falcons named Hillary and Buckeye, and he had two siblings hatched in the same clutch of eggs named Bedlam and Chaos.   Havoc became severely injured while he was fledging.  This is a period of time when a young bird learns how to fly, similar to a toddler learning how to walk.  While this is exciting, it can also be dangerous with hard surfaces like roads below.  Havoc was found on the ground between Snow and Ridge Roads in Cleveland unable to fly in May of 2005.  Through an examination it was found he suffered a severe wing fracture.  He underwent surgery on his wing but the damage was too severe, leaving him permanently disabled and unable to survive in the wild.  On November 7, 2005 he was transferred from the Medina Raptor Center wildlife rehabilitation facility to his forever home of Lorain County Metro Parks. 

The Raptor Center of Lorain County Metro Parks, located at the Carlisle Visitor Center in LaGrange, is a facility dedicated to the professional care and management of non-releasable raptors.  All the birds here in human care have sustained permanent injuries that prevent them from being able to survive on their own in the wild. Eye and wing injuries prevent raptors from hunting successfully. Imprinted birds that weren’t raised by bird parents, but human caretakers, do not learn the hunting and foraging skills needed to find food on their own.  Currently we have nine non-releasable birds that call the Raptor Center home. 

Havoc along with the other wildlife program ambassador raptors are on display daily 8am-4:30pm.  Do you have a question about Havoc or any other of our wildlife program ambassadors at Carlisle?  Email any and all questions you have to the Avian Program Curator Mary Ewers Joyner at mewers@loraincountymetroparks.com. Your question just might be featured in an upcoming Animal Pen Pal video! New questions are answered every Monday and Wednesday morning at 10:30am. 

Havoc the Peregrine Falcon has a permanent wing injury

Check out this link to get more information on Peregrine Falcons:
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/peregrine-falcon

If you see an injured animal and need to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, start with these links:

http://www.owra.org/findOH

https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/wildlife-inquiries

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Wildlife Ambassador Profile: Calli

The Raptor Center of Lorain County Metro Parks, located at the Carlisle Visitor Center in LaGrange, is a facility dedicated to the professional care and management of non-releasable raptors. All the birds here in human care have sustained permanent injuries that prevent them from being able to survive on their own in the wild. Eye and wing injuries prevent raptors from hunting successfully. Imprinted birds that weren’t raised by bird parents, but human caretakers, do not learn the hunting and foraging skills needed to find food on their own. Currently we have nine non-releasable birds that call the Raptor Center home.

Our second oldest resident, Calli, arrived at the Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center of Lake Metroparks in August of 1997. She had a broken left wing and bloodied left eye. The vet determined that the bones in the left wing were perfectly aligned, and the wildlife rehabilitation staff wrapped the wing for three weeks (like a bird cast). By the time her wing was unwrapped in October it had healed correctly and she could fly again, although her wing does still droop on that side. While this healing was taking place her injured eye had deflated, leaving Calli blind in her left eye. Her eyesight is what keeps Calli in the care of people since red-tailed hawks use their powerful eyesight to hunt for prey. As a result Calli was transferred to reside permanently as a member of the Raptor Center here at Lorain County Metro Parks in May of 1998.

Now that the Raptor Center courtyard is open be sure to visit Calli. She, along with the other wildlife program ambassador raptors are on display daily 8am-4:30pm. You can also get some behind the scenes looks at how we care for the raptors by checking out our Animal Pen Pal video series on Facebook. If you have a question you want answered in an upcoming Animal Pen Pals video, be sure to email the Avian Program Curator Mary Ewers Joyner at mewers@loraincountymetroparks.com so she can answer your question online.



Calli the Red-tailed Hawk has an eye injury that prevents her from surviving in the wild.

Check out this link to get more information on Red-tailed hawks:
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/red-tailed-hawk

If you see an injured animal and need to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, start with these links:

http://www.owra.org/findOH

https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/wildlife-inquiries

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Wildlife Ambassador Profile: Luke

The Raptor Center of Lorain County Metro Parks, located at the Carlisle Visitor Center in LaGrange, is a facility dedicated to the professional care and management of non-releasable raptors. All the birds here in human care have sustained permanent injuries that prevent them from being able to survive on their own in the wild. Eye and wing injuries prevent raptors from hunting successfully. Imprinted birds that weren’t raised by bird parents, but human caretakers, do not learn the hunting and foraging skills needed to find food on their own. Currently we have nine non-releasable birds that call the Raptor Center home.

You may not believe it from the photo, but this is Luke, a Red-tailed Hawk. He has a genetic disorder called leucism that prevents pigment from being deposited on a bird’s feathers. As a result, affected birds do not have the normal, classic plumage colors and their feathers are not as compact as their unaffected counterparts. Leucistic birds do have normal colored eyes and skin, and the whiteness can vary between individuals. Some are all white, like Luke, and others have a patchy colored appearance. Genetic mutations that turn birds a different color than normal typically are present in less than one percent of a local population. It’s a rare but striking mutation.

That all said, this is not why Luke is in the care of people. On September 29, 2013 he was found on a large field in Grafton with a wing injury and was brought to Hawk Ridge Wildlife Center for rehabilitation. He was extremely emaciated, with a small wound on his left wrist, external parasites, and all of his tail and wing feathers full of tiny holes. After a complete physical examination of both wings, it was determined that the wrist was fine. However there was an old fracture on that same wing, which had led to the fusion of the joint and a loss of range of motion. This wing injury is what deems this bird non-releasable to the wild, not his white feathers. Luke was transferred to LCMP on April 1, 2016 to be housed as one of our wildlife program ambassadors.

Now that the Raptor Center courtyard is open be sure to visit Luke. He, along with the other wildlife program ambassador raptors are on display daily 8am-4:30pm. You can also get some behind the scenes looks at how we care for the raptors by checking out our Animal Pen Pal video series on Facebook. If you have a question you want answered in an upcoming Animal Pen Pals video, be sure to email the Avian Program Curator Mary Ewers Joyner at mewers@loraincountymetroparks.com so she can answer your question online.

Luke, the Red-tailed Hawk has wing injuries that prevent him from surviving in the wild

Check out this link to get more information on Red-tailed hawks:
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/red-tailed-hawk

Click here to learn more about leucism:
https://www.audubon.org/news/why-bird-half-white

If you see an injured animal and need to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, start with these links:

http://www.owra.org/findOH

https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/wildlife-inquiries

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Wildlife Ambassador Profile: Aphrodite

The Raptor Center of Lorain County Metro Parks, located at the Carlisle Visitor Center in LaGrange, is a facility dedicated to the professional care and management of non-releasable raptors. All the birds here in human care have sustained permanent injuries that prevent them from being able to survive on their own in the wild. Eye and wing injuries prevent raptors from hunting successfully. Imprinted birds that weren’t raised by bird parents, but human caretakers, do not learn the hunting and foraging skills needed to find food on their own. Currently we have nine non-releasable birds that call the Raptor Center home.

The oldest bird living at the Raptor Center is Aphrodite the Red-tailed Hawk. In 1996 when she was approximately one and a half years old, she was hit by a car in Amherst. As a result of this run-in, Aphrodite’s wingtip bones in her right wing were broken. Due to her loss of flight, Aphrodite remained on the ground for about a week without food until she was able to be rescued and taken to a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Aphrodite recovered both her strength and weight once properly fed and medically cared for. Unfortunately, the wing tip was so damaged and infected it had to be removed, and as a result she is unable to fly. This has not prevented her from living a long and comfortable life here at the Raptor Center, teaching thousands of visitors both on-site and at requested programs around the County over the past two decades.

Now that the Raptor Center courtyard is open be sure to visit Aphrodite. She, along with the other wildlife program ambassador raptors are on display daily 8am-4:30pm. You can also get some behind the scenes looks at how we care for the raptors by checking out our Animal Pen Pal video series on Facebook. If you have a question you want answered in an upcoming Animal Pen Pals video, be sure to email the Avian Program Curator Mary Ewers Joyner at mewers@loraincountymetroparks.com so she can answer your question online.

Aphrodite, Red-tailed Hawk


Check out this link to get more information on Red-tailed hawks:
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/red-tailed-hawk

If you see an injured animal and need to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, start with these links:
http://www.owra.org/resources/Documents/Ohio%20DOW%20Wildlife%20Rehabilitators%20(1).pdf

http://www.owra.org/findOH

https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/wildlife-inquiries

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Thank you, Turkey Vultures!

You may not get excited seeing vultures soaring in the sky above you because of how vultures are portrayed in movies. What you may not realize is that these animals do a huge service for us by cleaning up roadsides and other areas of dead and decaying animals (carrion). Nature’s clean-up crew keeps these dead animals and the possible diseases that they could potentially contain safely disposed of. In fact, Vulture stomach acid is exceptionally corrosive which allows them to safely digest carrion infected with botulism, hog cholera bacteria, and even anthrax bacteria that would be lethal to other scavengers. Turkey vultures and other vulture species safely remove these bacteria from the environment. Thank you, vultures!

Another amazing thing about Turkey Vultures is their exceptional sense of smell, which is unique to the bird world. Turkey vultures have the largest olfactory (smelling) system of all birds. They have been known to be able to smell carrion from over a mile away! They use their powerful sense of smell and keen eyesight to locate food.

Now that the Raptor Center courtyard is open 8 am to 4:30 pm daily, be sure to visit our resident Artemis the Turkey Vulture. You can also get some behind the scenes looks at how we care for the raptors by checking out our Animal Pen Pal video series on Facebook. If you have a question you want answered in an upcoming Animal Pen Pals video, be sure to email the Avian Program Curator Mary Ewers Joyner at mewers@loraincountymetroparks.com so she can answer your question online.

Here are links to some great information about vultures:
http://www.wildlifelandtrust.org/wildlife/close-ups/vultures.html
https://vulpro.com/

Artemis the Turkey Vulture is on display at the Carlisle Visitor Center in LaGrange, 8 am-4:30 pm
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Raptor Center to open June 15th

We are happy to announce that the Lorain County Metro Parks Raptor Center courtyard will reopen Monday, June 15. The Raptor Center, located next to the Carlisle Visitor Center in LaGrange, will be open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., daily. The Carlisle Visitor Center will remain closed. LCMP is moving forward with caution and continues to abide by recommendations from local and state health officials. All visitors to the Raptor Center courtyard must maintain 6 feet distance from others outside their household. Face masks are strongly recommended but not required for entry.

The Raptor Center is a facility committed to the professional care and management of non-releasable raptors. Our staff is dedicated to increasing awareness and respect for these masters of the skies. For more information regarding our Raptor Center, please visit our website: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/raptor-center

Visitors interested in supporting this mission can participate in the Adopt-A-Raptor donation program. Funds raised are used for medical treatment, food, exhibit maintenance, and general care costs. This support is crucial for maintaining a high standard of care for the Raptor Center’s residents. Visit our website to download a pdf adoption form: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/raptor-center


The Raptor Center courtyard will be open June 15th, 8 am-4:30 pm daily

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Tram Rides at Schoepfle Garden

Schoepfle Garden is again offering garden tram rides! Pre-registration is required and no walk-ons will be accepted.  We do strongly recommend that all participants provide and wear a mask/face covering and practice social distancing.  Rides will be approximately 20 minutes with two riders per bench, every other row.  Registration is currently open for Saturday June 13th, Tuesday June 16th and Saturday June 20th every half hour from 10 am – 12:00 pm.  

Currently blooming are roses, mountain laurel, kousa dogwoods, knophofia, mock orange and more!

Register for the rides here – https://reservations.metroparks.cc/programs/?Search=1&s=y&list_programs=1&dr=&pt=&rm=144&ag=&sdt=&edt=&kw=

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