Chapters & Centers

New Ambassador Barred Owl Joins the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey Flock

We are excited to welcome a new, unique raptor to the Center for Birds of Prey.

This young Barred Owl first arrived at the Center’s Raptor Trauma clinic on March 30 after a fall from his nest. Upon evaluation, staff did not find injuries and we reunited this youngster with his parents one day later. Unfortunately, a storm event caused a second fall, resulting in a dislocated shoulder and wing injury. Though his wounds have healed, his wing injury was significant and prevented his release back into the wild.

This owl’s unique, dark coloring is called melanism, meaning he carries an overabundance of melanin in his feathers.

As our newest Ambassador bird, this owl will play a special role at the Center for Birds of Prey. Our feathered ambassadors give visitors an up-close view of Florida’s amazing raptors and inspire all of us to care for these birds of prey that live in our neighborhoods and natural landscapes.

Because of his important role at the Center, we asked for help in choosing his name. The Center for Birds of Prey held a fundraiser and voting opportunity: nearly half chose Willow.

The care of our ambassadors costs thousands of dollars each year. Funds are needed for the annual care of this new ambassador including food, housing, medical exams, enrichment, and training.

If you are interested in making a donation to care for our ambassador birds like Willow, contact Rosa Rivera at

This article originally appeared in Audubon Florida's Fall Naturalist magazine.

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