Genesis Wildlife Residents

Broadwing Hawk

Genesis currently has one resident, unnamed Broadwing Hawk. He came in with a broken wing, and although it was pinned, it didn’t hold, and the wing droops and is rendered useless. For this, he is a permanent resident.

Broadwings are considered one of the most prevalent hawks in the United States. Their Latin name is Buteo platypterus. Like many raptors, the females tend to be larger than the males. Like the name, they are stocky with broad wings. Adults are pale breasted with a dark brown back, with a striped tail.

Broadwings hunt from a perched position, rather than on the wing. They are monogamous, though they will flock together in groups called kettles during migration. These kettles can contain thousands of birds, sometimes even including other types of raptors!

Red Tailed Hawks

Genesis currently has three full-time residents Red-tailed Hawks.

Tanowha is our only male red-tailed hawk. He came from the Animal Hospital of Boone on 2/12/09. He is just now growing in his adult tail feathers, which are the tale-tell brick red that gives the Red-tailed hawks their name. He suffers from a permanent brain injury rendering him unable to hunt.

Moonstruck came to us on 3/10/03, at four years of age. She suffered from a gunshot wound to the wing rendering her unable to fly.

Mouse came from Raleigh on 8/19/09. She is twelve years old and is blind in her left eye. She is fully flighted, and we hope to be able to flight train her for education programs to come!

Red-tailed hawks are also known as buteo jamaicensis and, of course, “chickenhawks”. Pictured here are two males keeping their distance from the larger female.

A male Red-tailed Hawk may weigh 1.5 to 3 pounds and measure 18 to 22 inches tall. Females can weigh between 2 and 4.4 pounds and measure 20 to 26 inches tall. As is the case with many raptors the Red-tailed Hawk displays sexual dimorphism in size, as females are 25% larger than males. Their wingspan can be 3.5 to 4.75 feet.

Though the markings and hue vary, the basic appearance of the Red-tailed Hawk is consistent. The underbelly is lighter than the back and a dark brown band across the belly, formed by vertical streaks in feather patterning, is present in most color variations. The red tail, which gives this species its name, is uniformly brick-red above and pink below. The bill is short and dark, in the hooked shape characteristic of raptors. The cere (beak covering), legs and feet of the Red-tailed Hawk are all yellow.

Barred Owls

We have three barred owls. Two are new to the Sanctuary in 2009.
Charlie 11/25/2001 blind in left eye. We also have two unnamed barred owls, one with a broken wing, and another that’s fully flighted from the Carolina Raptor Center.

Great Horned Owls

Genesis has four full-time resident great horned owls.

Sasha is one of our education owl stars. She joined Genesis on 3/13/2007, at six weeks of age with her brother who was later released. She fell out of the nest at a young age and suffered a broken humerus bone rendering her flightless. She is glove-trained and goes out on programs to educate people about great horned owls.

Wachiwi, nicknamed Chiwi, is our other education great horned owl. He joined Genesis on 8/24/2008 at five weeks of age. He was discovered on the ground, and it is assumed that he fell from the nest. He broke his wing at the wrist and ended up losing the wingtip. Chiwi is very vocal and is learning how to go on programs right now. He’s making lots of progress, and if you go to a program with us, you may see him!

We also have two nameless great horned owls on display. Both were admitted on 2-12-09 from different sources. The first came to us from the Boone Police Department after flying into a car. He suffered from a deflated eye and is now partially blind. The other came to us from Ashe Animal Control and was tangled in barbed wire. She was left with damage to her patagium, rendering her non-releasable.

Known as Bubo virginianus, first published description in 1788 in Virginia territories. Great Horned Owls vary in color from a reddish brown to a grey or black and white. The underside is a light grey with dark bars and a white band of feathers on the upper breast. They have large, captive yellow-orange eyes, mostly bordered by an orange-buff facial disc. The name is derived from tufts of feathers that appear to be “horns” which are sometimes referred to as “ear tufts” but have nothing to do with hearing at all. The large feet are feathered to the ends of the toes, and the immature birds resemble the adults. Females are 10 to 20% larger than males.

Great Horned Owls hunt by perching on snags and poles and watching for prey, or by gliding slowly above the ground. From high perches, they dive down to the ground with wings folded, before snatching prey. Prey are usually killed instantly when grasped by its large talons. A Great Horned Owl may take prey 2 to 3 times heavier than itself. They also hunt by walking on the ground to capture small prey or wading into the water to snatch frogs and fish.

Screech Owls

Genesis currently houses four screech owls. Three are permanent residents at the center, Charlie ( a red phased screech owl), Matay (a gray phased screech owl), and Napoleon (a brown phased screech owl). Both Charlie and Matay were hit by cars. Napoleon fell out of the nest at a very young age and broke his coracoid and therefore cannot achieve enough lift to be able to fly. Our baby red phased screech owl is due to be released once it grows a little bit.


We currently have one full-time groundhog at Genesis, Barnaby. Barnaby is less than a year old. We just released an adult groundhog, Trouble, in July 2009.

Probably our most famous groundhog is Sir Walter Walley, the official Groundhog of the state of North Carolina. He is severely imprinted, and far too fearless to survive in the wild. He also has permanently crooked teeth which require regular maintenance.

Wobbles is another long-time resident of Genesis. Wobbles was born in the Spring of 2004. He came to us in 2005. He has shaken-baby syndrome as a result of an attack by dogs.