Resident Birds of Mill Grove

Come say hello to our Bird Ambassadors!

Our regal and beautiful birds, except for one, have each suffered a permanent injury (physical or mental) that makes them unable to survive in the wild, where even a seemingly small injury spells the difference between predatory dominance and certain death.
As avian ambassadors, these non-releasable wild birds have been trained to help educate people about their natural history and issues facing birds today. They visit schools, scouts, businesses, fairs and festivals, conferences, and many other special events. Up close experience with our birds can inspire youth and adults alike to take further actions in conservation and citizen science.



This special Blue Jay found his way to Mill Grove from the Tri-State Area Rescue, and he is by far our most dapper and distinguished bird. As a young chick, he was taken from his nest and illegally raised in captivity, meaning he never learned the bird behaviors necessary for survival in the wild (such as foraging, avoiding predators, a healthy fear of humans, etc.). Because of his history with human care-givers, Conrad absolutely loves socializing with visitors both from his enclosure and at events. As our most affable host for events, he is always dressed to impress in his sharp blue tux and polished beak - just watch out for his side-chatter sass!


Our loving Great Horned Owl, Oden was raised in captivity by a falconer and has imprinted on humans. Unafraid of people and lacking the skills necessary to hunt for himself, he is unable to be released inthe wild. As a part of a wildlife rehabilitation program at another sanctuary, Oden served as a surrogate parent to a clutch of rescued orphan owlets. After arriving at Mill Grove in 2011, he began his work as an educational ambassador, enjoying a diet of about six mice every evening, in addition to the admiration of the masses. Willful and proud, Oden is also the most talkative of all of our bird ambassadors.


Oscar is the sweetest of all of our Eastern Screech-owls. He came to Mill Grove after being struck by a car and becoming blind in one eye, which prevents him from being released into the wild. He will steal your heart with his cozy disposition and warm welcomes. Not to mention his ability to fluff up into a little ball feathers when he snuggles up with his campanions. Oscar is the only of our three schreeches who is the gray phase of the species, making him look like he has been dusted with a fine sketching pencil and helping him camouflage with tree bark.


Our final Eastern Screech-owl, Abby was also struck by a car and left blind in one eye, preventing her from being released into the wild. The shyest of the screeches, Abby is still learning how to become an educational ambassador and make appearances during events. The smallest of the three as well, she is sweet and often very sleepy, often snuggling into the corner of her perch for most of the day.


The most mysterious and wise of our mottled flock, Sherlock is our resident Barred Owl. Like our Screech-owls, he was also struck by a car and suffered a broken wing that didn't heal quite properly, even with rehab. Though he can fly, he cannot be released into the wild due to his injured wing. Sherlock spends most of his time perching quietly and observing everyone's behavior with his unwavering stare. His night black eyes and gray-scale feathers give him a hauntingly handsome appearance. But don't be fooled; behind that dark stare i an attention-seeking love bug.


Arriving at Mill Grove in 2017, Hopper was previously cared for at the Great Valley Nature Center after being hit by a car and suffering a broken wing. Though she survived her injuries, he left wing never fully healed, rendering her completely unable to fly. Brimming with a constant and restless energy, Hopper instead springs and flutters from perch to perch, hence her name. Watchful, particular, and remarkably talkative, especially when anticipating breakfast, she now assists educators here at Mill Grove.


Our newest ambassador at Mill Grove, Pineapple is a Barred Rock Hen and has quickly become a fan favoirte at the Center, who wows visitors with her stunning good looks and effervescent personality. Since joining the team, she has been delighted to meet guest on the Fledgling Trail, at weddings, and will soon be debuting in off-site programming once she successfully completes her leash training.