Part One: Research
- To study the ecology of birds within the Estes Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park, with a special emphasis on hawks and owls. As the institute grows the research will expand throughout the state of Colorado.
- To provide information about the species' natural history, abundance, survival and breeding success.
- To educate and inspire the public about avian conservation by assisting them in making informed conservation-minded decisions.
- To share the findings of the institute with the scientific community and local government agencies and provide tools to them for stewardship.
Part Two: Rehabilitation:
- To focus on the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wild birds by nurturing and caring for their needs, while retaining their wild instincts, which will in turn enable them to be released back into the wild and remain a part of the viable wild population.
- Below are just some of the injured birds that we received in 2015. The Northern Pygmy-Owl was found on a road unable to fly. The Great Horned Owl had a broken leg, the Sharp-shinned Hawk crashed into a window and the magpie had a bruised wing.
This year, members of CARRI have placed over 25 nest structures for our Long-eared Owl project. These structures will hopefully entice the owls to nest and begin to control the vole infestation.
We are attempting to increase Long-eared Owl numbers
In the 1950's and 60's the Long-eared Owl was the most numerous owl found in Boulder County, Colorado. Due to the loss of habitat and nesting sites, these owls are seldom seen as a nesting species in the county. We are going to construct an place several nest structures for these owls. Some structures will be nest boxes with the entire front open (photo below), nest platforms and others will be a nest made of chicken wire and sticks. The nests will be placed in the preferred habitat for the owls and if we have Wi-Fi access, cameras will be placed on the nests.
We will monitor all structures to determine what the owls prefer.
**We are in need of funding to purchase material to build the nest structures as well as funding to place and monitor the nests after they become occupied.
The photos above are of Long-eared Owls, their habitat as well as a mock-up of a nest box design. Long-eared Owls prefer to nest in areas with very dense vegetation near large open meadows.
Long-eared Owls are extremely beneficial, in that they prey almost entirely upon small destructive mammals such as voles and mice.
In 2015, we monitored 8 Barn Owl nests, 4 American Kestrel nests, 1 Eastern Screech Owl nest and several bluebird and swallow nests. We also rehabilitate birds that are brought to the institute for care.
CARRI has three major areas that are in need of funding; 1) Research, 2) Education and 3) Rehabilitation.
1) Research: We would like to purchase the materials for, construct and place 10 more Barn Owl nest boxes, 10 Great Horned Owl nest structures, 10 Eastern Screech Owl nest boxes and 10 American Kestrel boxes, placing cameras inside as many as we have a wifi connection for. We would like to find individuals and corporations willing to fund such projects. We would place nest boxes on or near private structures such as garages, barns etc. as well as large office buildings enabling CARRI and the public to learn more about these species as well as enabling the birds to do what they do best, which is to create natural pest control for the environment.
2) Education: We are very interested in educating young people and adults about the importance of conserving habitat for birds. By talking to grade school, middle school and high school students as well as conservation groups, we can work with them to construct and place nest boxes and platforms for raptors and songbirds such as bluebirds, wrens and swallows.
3) Rehabilitation: CARRI's other major focus is the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned birds. Each year CARRI receives numerous birds that need care. Some are found on the ground and assumed to be orphaned. Others have injuries ranging from minor scrapes to major trauma. This care often takes several months and is quite costly. Your generous donations will aid in the care of these birds and their release back into the wild.
CARRI works locally with Law Enforcement, Animal Control and Colorado Parks & Wildlife, in the recovery, rehabilitation and release of injured birds.