30.9.09

LUCY

Oh, bless!

She may only have limited vision but Lucy the owl's
disability hasn't stopped her from finding
the perfect perch in life.

The five-year-old Western Screech Owl can only see
a short distance following an attack when
she was just a fledgling.

The tiny bird, who stands six inches (15.2 cm)
high and weighs a bit over eight ounces
(227 g), was discovered under her nest
site in Santa Barbara, California.

Both her eyes had been punctured by a predator,
possibly a small hawk or a corvid.
Lucy is now an
invaluable 'staff' member at the
Ojai Raptor
Center in California where she helps to
raise other orphaned youngsters.


Kim Stroud, (below with Lucy) director of the
center, says: "She can see maybe 10 or 15 feet but
we don't think she can identify objects. She
wouldn't survive in the wild.
Despite
her size and disability she could
live for a further 15 years."


Kim, 46, both founded and runs the Ojai Raptor Center,
a non-profit rescue and rehabilitation centre for injured
birds in Ventura County, an area of Southern
California that boasts millions
of acres of national parks.


Lucy has proved to be a great help. "She's a wonderful
mother. She lays eggs every year, infertile of course,
but whenever screech owl eggs are brought in from
the wild we have switched them. The same
with foundling baby screeches. Lucy
has raised 15 of them so far".


Despite, or maybe because of, her excellent
maternal instincts the tiny predator can be
fierce and protective too. Kim says: "She
tolerates handling, but she's very vocal when
she's mad. She flies at me when she has
eggs or babies, or sometimes even
when I go into feed her."

You can adopt and
sponsor Lucy
HERE


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