Damian Fagan is the Communications Manager for High Desert Museum.
Every year, the High Desert Museum adds a few more critters to the mix. Here are a few of 2015's highlights.
1 Porcupette The porcupine, Honeysuckle, gave birth in mid-April to a baby "porcupette." A naming contest was held for the porcupette and "Juniper" was the clear winner. Juniper and Honey are doing fine and are on exhibit.
2 Redband Trout Obtained from Roaring Springs Ranch of Frenchglen, Oregon, redbands are a subspecies of native rainbow trout found east of the Cascade Mountains. Their larger rounded spots and orange-red lateral lines distinguish them from non-native trout. The fish are on exhibit in Cheney Pond.
3 Burrowing Owl A burrowing owl came to the Museum from the Blue Mt. Wildlife rehab center in Pendleton, Oregon. Probably struck by a car, the owl cannot fully fly and was declared non-releasable. This owl joins a second burrowing owl already on exhibit in the Desertarium.
4 Barred Owl This owl, deemed non-releasable by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, came from southern Oregon and joins a second barred owl already on exhibit. Barred owls have invaded historical spotted owl territories and are cited as a primary threat to the spotted owl's survival. The barred owl is on exhibit in the Donald M. Kerr Bird of Prey Center.
5Ferruginous Hawk Flown for falconry earlier in its life, the Museum received this 20-year-old ferruginous hawk from Blue Mt. Wildlife. Named for its rusty (ferruginous) shoulder and leg feathers, this bird will soon be on exhibit in the Donald M. Kerr Bird of Prey Center.