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Tito is in our care due to tree trimming at the wrong time of year. Barn owls are cavity nesters and sometime nest in palm trees in California. The nest that Tito was born in was cut out of a tree by tree trimmers, Tito was the only survivor of his siblings, but suffered a broken wing and leg. His injuries deemed him non-releasable, and he joined the ORC team of education ambassadors to educate about when not to trim trees. Tito lives with his mate Alba. Every year, Tito and Alba act as foster parents to orphaned barn owlets. Together they have raised hundreds of orphans.

Ojai Raptor Center receives many birds each nesting season from being displaced by tree trimmers. If you have trees...trim them in the fall to prevent cutting out nests and orphaning baby birds. 

Fun Facts:

Barn Owls are nocturnal owls, meaning they are active and hunt at night. Barn Owls are a common owl in our area. They do not have a call but they do make a sweeping/shhh shhhh sound, as well as a high and raspy scream. 

My Name is Tito
My name is Tito
Welcome to my home
I remember I arrived like you
Frightened and alone

I promise you’ll be safe here
We’re here to help you heal
My name is Tito and I remember
I remember how it feels

Some humans cut my family tree
And I fell helpless to the ground
One picked me up and brought me here
The very day that I was found

Maybe they didn’t remember
Or they never knew at all
You never trim your trees in summer
You trim them in the fall

I know you’re scared of humans
I see you’ve met one who’s cruel
But this place is not your prison
You’re in flying school!

I may only have one good wing
And though I don’t fly now
My name is Tito and I remember
I remember how

Later you’ll meet Alba
She’s my lifelong friend
They bring us orphaned owlings
And we help them all to mend

We’ve raised quite a few of you
Is it two hundred eighty-seven or eighty-eight?
Look, I’m an owl
And even I can’t keep it straight

I’ve been like a Dad to them
And I’ll be like a Dad to you
My name is Tito and I promise
I promise you’ll fly too

All the humans here are kind
They’ll mend your broken bone
We’ll help you fly, so you won’t have to try
To “wing it” on your own

Get it? “Wing it” on your own?
Owl Dad jokes are the best!
And after weeks of my Dad humor
You’ll be inspired to leave the nest!

Now a month has flown right by
And your time here must end
The day has come to spread both your wings
And go find your lifelong friend

Remember you carry wisdom
From all your ancestors who flew
Trust your instincts, trust your wings
You’ll know what to do

Now one of my favorite humans
Will release you to the sky
The day is here, the time is now
To lift your wings and fly

I’ll be heading home now
I’ll tell Alba how high you flew
Oh and when they ask you, “How is Tito?”
You’d better not say, “Who?”

Each time we set an owlet free
A tear always fills my eye
Because my name is Tito and I remember
I remember how it feels to fly

© 2017 Ron Fullerton All rights reserved