Hidden down a dirt road in Cave Creek, Arizona is a wildlife rehabilitation center that specializes in caring for birds of prey. Founded and directed by Sam and Bob Fox, this organization is “Dedicated to the conservation and preservation of Arizona’s native wildlife through the rescue and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned birds of prey, relocation of displaced burrowing owls, species recovery programs, educational presentations and habitat enhancement projects.
When I visited with Bob and Sam last fall, I was struck by the success of Wild at Heart’s Endangered Species Recovery Programs. In 2007, Arizona Game and Fish documented only six pairs of nesting Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy Owls in Arizona. Due to success with Burrowing Owls, Wild at Heart was asked to establish a captive-breeding program program for these tiny owls. Today, there are sixteen Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy Owls who reside a Wild at Heart!
Barn Owls are another species whose populations have declined dramatically in the eastern United States. Owls from Wild at Heart have re-introduced into Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York to re-establish populations of these beautiful birds.
If you would like to learn more about Wild at Heart or make a donation to support their work, please go to www.wildatheartowls.org. If you are lucky enough to tour their facility, keep an eye out for a Great Horned Owl named Ariel. She was found at my husband’s office with a fractured wing. Thanks to the great care she received at Wild at Heart, she survived her injuries and is currently a foster mom for orphaned chicks.
Source: Pictures and information used with permission of Wild at Heart, Inc.