Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Answer to What is This?

Are you ready for the answer? It is an alula feather from Darner, the American kestrel. Here is a photo of that feather, and an alula from Maxime the bald eagle. Both feathers are used in the same ways by each bird, but what a difference in size! Thank you to all who checked in.

This article is an example of how alula feathers are used in flight.


What is This?

What is this? We will take any suggestions - what species is it from, what type of feather is it, and any other observations. (And yes, it is real. And yes, it is from one of TRC's education birds.) We'll post the answer later today.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Update on "Freedom" Bald Eagle, August 8

"Freedom" in his flight pen.

 "Freedom", the bald eagle admitted to TRC's clinic after hanging upside down by a leg for at least two days over the 4th of July weekend, had a check-up recently. 

He is perching more consistently now and the soft tissue injury to his leg is healing nicely. He has a great appetite and after eating dinner, often takes a dip in his bath pan with great enthusiasm!  We remain cautiously optimistic on “Freedom’s” progress.
This is the material removed from around "Freedom's" leg.

Your gifts to support the expertise that TRC will provide him, and other young eaglets who also need second chances at life, will make a huge impact.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How Can You Hear Like an Owl?

The summer camp topic this week at TRC is Biomimicry.  Biomimicry looks at elements of nature for inspiration to solve human problems or address human needs.  The evolution of plant and animal adaptations, for example, shows they have "solved" problems by being able to survive.

The campers used materials to create their own versions of “owl facial discs”, to mimic this important owl adaptation related to hearing. 

Two very creative campers, Athena and Elise, used some “down time” in between activities to show their creative sides.  They agreed to let us share their artwork.  Beautiful! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Meet. Dr. Adrien Pesque, TRC's Clinical Intern

Dr. Adrien examines a great horned owl.
We'd like to introduce you to Dr. Adrien Pesque, TRC's new clinical intern.  He wrote a few lines to share!

"I am originally from France but I grew up in the states of California, Washington, and Arizona. I recently received my veterinary degree from the University of California, Davis, with an emphasis in zoological species. During my undergraduate years at the University of Arizona in Tucson, I became determined to aid and protect the species of the wild. My passion stems from working hands-on with wildlife to provide veterinary care and to relieve suffering. My career goals include better understanding the human impact on ecosystems and how we can ameliorate those issues to empower our conservation efforts.

Why I was interested in the Raptor Center:
The Raptor Center is well known as a leader in wildlife veterinary care and research, so I knew I would be honored to be part of their program. After graduation, I was seeking additional training through an internship and hoped to eventually find a job in the extremely competitive field of wildlife medicine. The Raptor Center fulfilled everything I could have hoped for and I feel extremely fortunate to be working here today.

What I hope to learn:
During the upcoming year, I plan to build my skills and confidence as a clinician, and better understand the dynamics of raptor rehabilitation and management. I hope to become proficient in orthopedic surgery and complete a research project as well. I also look forward to teaching the fourth year veterinary students and honing my leadership skills. Overall, I am very grateful to be part of The Raptor Center team and could not be more excited for what this year has in store"

Monday, June 27, 2016

Raptor Lab at The Raptor Center

For the past two years, 14 teachers have been actively piloting the Raptor Lab in their classrooms.  The Raptor Lab is an online learning environment which models the process of scientific investigation in real-world settings.  Students use active role playing to assume a scientific career in wildlife rehabilitation.  This educational partnership between The Raptor Center and the University of Minnesota’s Learning Technologies Media Lab was funded by a grant from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. 

Recently, nine of those teachers came together to participate in a final workshop to evaluate the Raptor Lab, and ensure that it meets the needs of both teachers and students.  
Jennifer Clemmerson and Allison Fasking, two teachers at Prior Lake’s Twin Oaks Middle School, are already planning on having the Raptor Lab replace their current curriculum on teaching the process of scientific investigation.  In addition, the curriculum will be expanded to two additional classrooms in Hidden Oaks (a sister middle school to Twin Oaks) and will reach more than 600 7th graders in the Prior Lake area.  Overall, the Raptor Lab was used by over 1,000 students with numerous teachers lining up to help pilot the curriculum next year.  Our hope is to see this number double for the 2016 – 2017 school year.  

It has been a very exciting two years watching the Raptor Lab develop and be used by teachers and students in the classroom.  The final curriculum will be finished this summer for use for the start of the next school year.  As this program grows we hope students throughout Minnesota and the Midwest will have the opportunity to use the Raptor Lab to learn firsthand about threats facing wildlife and our shared environments and what they can do to be part of the solution.

If you are a teacher and interested in this project, contact Mike Billington at mbilling@umn.edu.