Big Rescue For Little Bird


SPCA wildlife technicians Ciera Cavanaugh and Jamie Doglione rescued a tiny hummingbird from Carmel Valley Manor last Saturday. The rescue was made difficult by the fact the the bird was drawn to the light of a window at the top of the dining hall’s high ceiling.  The bird was eventually cornered and the rescuers were able to gently catch it in a net. 

“Being stuck in a building can be detrimental to hummingbirds,” says Jamie. “They have a high metabolism, which means they need to eat almost constantly. They are also animals that are prone to high levels of stress and keeping them calm can be very difficult.” 

The rescue team came prepared with sugar water, which the bird quickly lapped up.  The hummingbird was then taken to a garden, away from the open doors of the dining hall and quickly flew away.  Photos by Davis Palmer.






Red-Tailed Hawk Shot by BB Gun Recovering at SPCA Wildlife Center


The SPCA for Monterey County is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who shot a red-tailed hawk near San Benancio and Harper Canyon last month.

On July 10, the SPCA Wildlife Rescue Center rescued a red-tailed hawk unable to fly. The hawk suffered a broken wing caused by being illegally shot by a BB gun near San Benancio and Harper Canyon. X-rays showed a BB embedded in his wing, breaking his ulna.

SPCA Wildlife Rescue staff treated his injury with help from the Avian and Exotic Clinic. We wrapped his wing to stabilize the injury and provided pain medication and antibiotics. Once healed, we provided physical therapy by gently stretching his wing to encourage muscle movement. He recovered and gained strength in our outdoor aviary for two weeks before being released back into the wild on August 22.

See release photos here. Thank you for your caring support that makes rescues like these possible!

SPCA Rescues Injured Red-Tailed Hawk

This injured red-tailed hawk was rescued on March 11 after he was hit by a car on River Road just off 68. He suffered from a crack in his mandible and head trauma. He underwent surgery at the Avian & Exotic Clinic to repair the break (you can see a small wire underneath his beak). To see larger images, please click here.

After supportive care he is now outside, flying, and eating on his own. We hope to release him back to the wild soon.





SPCA Wildlife Center Rescues Over 60 Pelicans

Fishing hooks removed from rescued pelicans.

The SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center has rescued 69 California Brown Pelicans since August 2nd.  Many of the pelicans suffered painful and life-threatening embedded fish hooks. The SPCA reminds everyone who goes fishing to safely discard of their hooks and line to protect our native wildlife.

Birds and sea mammals can be seriously injured by getting tangled in fishing line or swallowing fish hooks. If you see fishing line on shores or in the water, please pick it up and discard it in the trash.

If you see a Brown Pelican or any other wild animal in distress please call the SPCA Wildlife Center at 831-373-2631 or call our overnight emergency number at 831-646-5534.  To help injured and orphaned wildlife, donate now.

News Coverage:




Baby Barn Owls Reunited After Unplanned Hayride

Three tiny barn owls are back with their parents after two took an unexpected hayride from Greenfield to King City.

The SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center received a call on May 3rd from a woman in King City who recently had hay delivered to her property. As she was pulling bales off the stack of hay, she found two tiny barn owl babies and quickly called the SPCA. We responded to the scene and learned that the hay had been purchased from an unknown location in Greenfield.

As SPCA Wildlife Rehabilitation Technicians tended to the babies and attempted to find the Greenfield location, we received call from a man in Greenfield who found a single baby barn owl. It soon became apparent that the three owls were siblings.

The man with the single baby barn owl gave us directions and met us at the ranch. We were able to create a safe new nest under a barn roof in which we gently placed the babies.

The next day the barn owl babies were hydrated and quiet – a good indication that they were being fed. The second day there was food in the nest, showing us that the parents were tending to their young. Another successful reunion!

Help more injured and orphaned babies. Donate or volunteer!




Baby Great Horned Owls Reunited with Parents

On May 4, the SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center received a call from a home owner in Oak Hills. Trees were being trimmed in front yard of the home when the trimmers accidentally cut down a nest with two tiny Great Horned Owl nestlings.  Baby Great Horned Owls

SPCA Wildlife Rescuers responded to the scene to find two healthy, hydrated nestings. A worker with the tree trimming company assisted the SPCA in placing a new makeshift nest high in an unaffected branch of the same tree. Happily, the adult parents returned later that night to tend to their relocated babies.

In this case, The SPCA for Monterey County was successful in reuniting the baby owls with their parents.  But every year, the SPCA receives baby squirrels and birds that have been injured or orphaned by ill-timed or illegal tree pruning. 

Federal law requires that bird nests not be disturbed until eggs hatch and the babies leave the nest.  If you absolutely need to prune a tree for safety reasons, carefully check the 78earea for squirrel and bird nests first. Squirrels nest twice a year from February to May, then again from July to September.  Squirrel nests look like a cluster of leaves and twigs caught between two branches.  Bird nests tend to be small and hard to find, especially hummingbird nests.

If you find a nest with eggs or babies, moving or destroying the nest will severely hurt the babies’ chance of survival. Please contact us with any questions.




SPCA Rescues Injured and Emaciated Beaver

On December 4, 2010, the SPCA for Monterey County Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center rescued an injured and emaciated beaver from the Salinas River area. After a month of skilled care by our wildlife rehabilitation technicians, the beaver was released back into the wild.





SPCA Rescues Hundreds of Pelicans


The SPCA for Monterey County is rescuing pelicans injured by the recent storms in our area. As of Tuesday, March 9, our Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center has rescued 104 pelicans and we expect to rescue even more pelicans in the next few days.

If anyone in our community spots pelicans acting strangely or in an unusual location, we ask that they please do not approach the animal. Instead, call The SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center at 831-373-2631 x227.

The pelicans had all lost their waterproofing, they were thin (some were emaciated), many were hypothermic, and one had a flesh wound on its wing. We believe they were challenged by the recent storms in our area.

In cases like this, The SPCA acts as an emergency room by taking in the all injured birds and working to stabilize and save them. After stabilization, 64 of the pelicans were transferred to International Bird Rescue Research Center in Fairfield for further care. In the meantime, our doors stay open to any injured or orphaned wild animal that needs our help.

You can help: Report injured wild animals by calling 373-2631 x227 or donate now to support The SPCA Wildlife Center!

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SPCA Rescues Tangled Barn Owl


Update 1/6/2010: The barn owl will be released this evening. A great happy ending to this unusual story! Monterey Herald news story “Owl released after healing from injury”

Original Story: The SPCA for Monterey County performed an emergency wildlife rescue on December 17 on El Paso Road in Salinas. The barn owl was tangled in fishing line and unable to fly. The call originally came in to rescue an owl trapped in a barbed wire fence, but as you can see from these photos, this is not what SPCA Wildlife Center Technicians found on arrival to the scene.

The rescue went smoothly and we are hopeful that the barn owl will be able to be released soon. Examination at the SPCA Wildlife Center revealed no fractures or dislocations, but the owl is favoring that wing so are closely monitoring the situation.

You can help: Donate now to support The SPCA Wildlife Center!

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SPCA Rescues Injured Golden Eagle


On Saturday, November 7th, an injured golden eagle was found in a field in Soledad. The SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center responded to the scene and brought the eagle back to our center. An examination revealed that the eagle’s left shoulder is either dislocated or broken.

Today SPCA Wildlife Staff are stabilizing the eagle in order to transfer to California Raptor Center at UC Davis tomorrow for possible specialized surgery.

The SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is the only full service wildlife rehabilitation center serving Monterey County. The SPCA Wildlife Center’s professional staff operates under permits from the California Department of Fish & Game and rescues over 2,600 wild animals every year. Your support is extremely important to us, as we do not receive funding from any federal, state or local government agency.

Update from California Raptor Center: Tests reveal that the golden eagle has a broken collarbone and coracoid in his left wing. He is wrapped & being monitored closely.

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Badger Rescued and Released by SPCA Wildlife Center

On June 25, The SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center received a call about a badger stuck in a five foot deep sewer pipe in Fort Ord. A worker was passing by the area, looked into the manhole (which was uncovered) and saw the trapped badger. Or, as he put it, “I glanced into the hole and something was staring at me.”

He contacted The SPCA Wildlife Center, who responded to the scene. Wildlife rescuers trapped the smelly, wet badger and moved him to safety. An examination showed that the badger was unharmed.

The badger was released into suitable territory nearby and the manhole was covered for the safety of future animals.

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SPCA Wildlife Center Rescues Eight Baby Chipmunks

Chipmunks Traveled from Tahoe City in RV bound for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

The SPCA for Monterey County’s Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is caring for eight baby chipmunks who accidentally hitched a ride from Tahoe City to Monterey.

The baby chipmunks, approximately two weeks old, were nesting in a piece of carpet in a motor home owned by brothers John and Mike Celauss. John and Mike had driven from Tahoe City to Monterey on Thursday to race their D-Sports Racer in this weekend’s SCCA Regional Series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. When Mike pulled the piece of carpet out of the motor home that evening, the chipmunks were dislodged from their nest and scattered.

“The little guys ran everywhere,” said John Celauss. “Everyone was very helpful – it was tough race car guys dropping everything to chase chipmunk babies. We’ve been coming down here for many years, so we knew we could call The SPCA to the rescue.”

The brothers placed the chipmunks in a box with blankets and called The SPCA first thing the next morning. The chipmunks are now in an incubator at The SPCA Wildlife Center and have been feeding well. They will be cared for at The SPCA Wildlife Center until mature, when they will be released back in Tahoe.

“We are very happy that John and Mike knew to call us,” says Rosanna Leighton, SPCA Wildlife Center Supervisor. “The chipmunks are doing well after their unfortunate road trip and our skilled technicians will work carefully with them to nurse them to adulthood.”

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Great Horned Owl Nestlings Reunited with Parents


UPDATE: A photo of the rescued owls taken a month after they were placed back in their nest:

On April 5, an engineer with the Marina Fire Department thought he noticed a ball of “mold” on the ground under a tree. Upon further investigation, he found that the “mold” was actually two baby Great Horned Owls who had fallen out of their nest. They contacted The SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, who responded to the scene. SPCA Wildlife Technicians examined the nestlings, which were in good health and not injured by the fall. Since it is always best to keep wild animals in the wild whenever possible, we created a make-shift nest out of a laundry basket and attached it securely to the tree.

An adult owl had been attempting to feed the nestlings on the ground, and greeted the nestlings in their new and improved nest after we left the scene.

View KSBW news coverage on the rescue.

The SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is the only full service wildlife rehabilitation center serving Monterey County. We operate under permits from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Your support is extremely important to us, as we do not receive funding from any federal, state or local government agency.

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Injured Bald Eagle at SPCA Wildlife Center February 2009


On Sunday, February 1st, an adult female Bald Eagle was found entangled in a wire fence on Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County. After initially being treated at Pacific Wildlife Care in Morro Bay, the eagle has now been transferred to The SPCA for Monterey County’s Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. The eagle, known as 5M, has deep wounds at the base of each of her wings from struggling with the fence. X-rays do not show broken bones, but her left wing is drooping.

The eagle’s rehabilitation is being followed closely by Ventana Wildlife Society, which has a vested interest in her recovery: fifteen years ago, they released her in Big Sur as a young eaglet as part of a reintroduction effort.

“I was personally involved with the release of 5M when I was working as a field biologist for Ventana Wildlife Society”, says Executive Director Kelly Sorenson. “It is just an an amazing feeling to know that this eagle survived all these years. I just hope she can once again fly free. The story of eagle 5M is extraordinary and one that shows just how successful a reintroduction effort in combination with a wildlife rehabilitation program can work well together.”

Currently, The SPCA Wildlife Center is feeding the eagle by tongs and giving her intramuscular antibiotics twice daily. They have also been keeping her hydrated with subcutaneous fluids.

“It’s unfortunate to see such a magnificent animal injured like this,” says Rosanna Leighton, SPCA Wildlife Center Supervisor. “Like all the animals we rescue, we are going to do what is best for her and we hope to get her back out into the wild where she belongs.”

Since The SPCA does not currently have access to the best flight cage for her, bald eagle 5M was transferred to a wildlife rescue facility in Davis, CA, on 2/17. Sadly she was later euthanized due to the severity of her injuries.

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Help Wildlife


Wildlife Questions during Regular Hours

Wildlife Emergencies during Regular Hours

Wildlife Emergencies After Hours (SPCA Wildlife Staff on-call 24 hours a day)

Mountain Lions: (California Department of Fish & Wildlife)

Injured or Orphaned Marine Mammals (Marine Mammal Center)

Live or Deceased Sea Otters (Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Deceased Animals on Side of Road (Monterey County Public Works)