Previously the RBFC honored Richard's interest in and dedication to the protection and preservation of the environment by supporting the National Audubon Society (NAS), donating in excess of $6,000 to that organization in the name of Richard Burgi by the end of 1999. With the start of a new year, the RBFC has decided to support an organization more in tune with Richard's interest in grass-roots work -- the Orange County Bird of Prey Center (OCBPC).

A recently-held (April 6-9) RBFC online charity auction raised $1,972 for the OCBPC and a charity raffle,  drawn April 30th, added $1,240  for a combined total of  $3,212 donated to the Center. (To learn more about the auction and the raffle, visit the RBFC auction and raffle pages).

While Richard greatly appreciates the thoughtfulness and generosity of his fans, he finds gifts a bit overwhelming. He would prefer -- and would be honored -- if instead, fans make a donation in his name to the Orange County Bird of Prey Center or a similar organization in their home town.

What is the Orange County Bird of Prey Center?  To help us learn more about the organization, the OCBPC sent us an informative and interesting brochure, the text of which is presented below.

* We must point out that the OCBPC brochure is mainly geared towards residents of Orange County, California; the phone numbers and contact information listed in the "what to do if..." section of the text are there for the benefit and use of people residing in Orange County.  Please do not call these numbers if you do not live in Orange County! (While the OCBPC can advise you if you find an injured bird, neither they nor the OC Animal Control Department can physically care for a raptor which is far removed from them geographically).

** If you live outside of Orange County -- be it in another County or State of the USA, or another country entirely -- and find a raptor (or any other bird) in need of help, please call your local authorities for further instructions.  (Start with your Animal Control Department, Department of Fish and Game, or Humane Society, or call an organization similar to the OCBPC if one exists in your area).


ATHENA - our Great Horned Owl (educational bird -- loves to "ham it up" for the camera). Raised in captivity and imprinted on humans - non-releasable.


What are Raptors?

Raptors are birds of Prey.  Owls, eagles, falcons, condors, hawks, ospreys, kites and vultures are all raptors.  Raptors have strong grasping feet with sharp talons for catching and holding prey.  Their hooked upper beak tears and kills prey, and their binocular vision allows them depth perception for hunting prey.

Why are Raptors Important?

Raptors help maintain the balance of nature by controlling rodents, reptiles, insects and other prey.  Today, we respect their role in the balance of nature and they are protected by state and federal laws.  More and more of us each day are discovering the importance and the beauty of raptors.

Education Programs

The Center realizes that the long-term solution to preventing many of the injuries seen is through education. Volunteers take birds to schools, Scout meetings, park programs, public television specials, and nature exhibits.  The birds used for the educational programs are non-releasable.

ALICE - American Kestrel (a real sweetheart!)  Nest destroyed when she was still a fledgling.  The tree branch with the nest, Alice and her siblings was put through a tree shredder!  Alice was the only survivor.


What is the O.C.B.P.C.?

The Orange County Bird Of Prey Center was formed to:

  • Educate the community about raptors
  • Rehabilitate injured raptors
  • Release recuperated (recovered) raptors back into the wild

Our work was started in 1986 in Villa Park, and moved to El Toro in 1990.  Dr. Scott Weldy is the Director of the Bird of Prey Center and provides the necessary veterinary care for the Center.  The Bird of Prey Center became incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1993.  The Center is staffed exclusively by volunteers to allow 100% of donations to be applied to the birds.

Orange County
Bird of Prey Center
23352 El Perro Street
El Toro, CA 92630
(949) 837-0786

A non-profit Corporation
Federal I.D. #33-0440942

ISIS - Red-tailed Hawk (our little star!)  Stolen from the nest as a baby -- imprinted on humans, cannot survive in the wild on her own.


Rehabilitation Programs

Injured and orphaned raptors are brought to the Center by concerned individuals, Federal, State, and County agencies.  They are initially examined by a veterinarian and a course of treatment is prescribed.  Sometimes X-rays, surgery, and other medical therapy is required.  Young birds learn to hunt live food fed to them, honing their hunting and flying skills.  Releasable birds are then kept in flight cages to regain the necessary skills and strength for return to the wild.


When the bird is ready for release, it is placed in a location similar to its natural habitat.


If you encounter a raptor that appears to be injured or ill, call us at (949) 837-0786, or your local Animal Control Department.

When handling the bird is necessary, use heavy gloves to avoid injury by its sharp talons and beak.  A towel or blanket temporarily placed over the bird may allow easier handling.  Grasp the bird on the sides over properly folded wings.  The raptor can then be placed ina heavy cardboard box only slightly larger than the bird itself.

When you find a young bird you think is abandoned, be certain that it is truly orphaned before removing it from the area.  Young birds are often out of their nests a few days before they can fly, being cared for by parents that are nearby but possibly not visible.  The adult birds can do a much better job of raising their young than humans.  You can help the parents by keeping dogs and cats out of the area.

It is important that you make a record of the time, date and location of capture.  Do not attempt to care for the raptor yourself.  Not only is it against the law to do so, but it may result in injury to you and/or the bird.  The Center is equipped to deal with the raptor's medical, housing, and nutritional needs and is ready to do so upon its arrival.  Additionally, young birds will "imprint" through excessive handling, meaning they will become socially attached to humans.  This imprinting may make the bird non-releasable.

Phone Numbers to Call **
Orange County Bird of Prey Center - (949) 837-0786
Orange County Animal Control - (714) 935-6848

SLUG - Western Screech Owl (cute as a bug!) Hit by a car, right wing broken (healed crooked -- can't fly straight).  Head trauma -- right eye damaged.

How to Help

Obey the laws which protect raptors, and encourage others to do the same.  Support this and other conservation and wildlife organizations.  We rely solely on contributions from people like you to continue our work.

Call us to arrange for a speaker for your club or group.  Your support in helping others learn about raptors can help to protect these endangered species and promote the preservation of wildlife.

Board of Directors

Veterinarian Scott H. Weldy; Attorney Genevieve Wall; Betty & Bill Millan of El Toro.

Advisors / Consultants

Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group, Inc., Antigo, Wisconsin; Veterinarian Patrick Morris, Sand Diego Zoo, CA; Veterinarian Gayle Roberts, Irvine, CA

The O.C. Bird of Prey Center is monitored by the O.C. Animal Control Department and the Department of Fish and Game.

(At present the OCBPC does not have its own website.  Should one be set up, we will add the URL to this page.)


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