Monday, October 31, 2011

Northern Saw-whet owl visits TRC clinic twice in 10 months

Thanks to the aluminum band encircling her lower leg, NWSO 10-669 (Northern Saw-whet Owl) helped tell us a bit about her story. After spending only 2 days with us last December to recover from mild head trauma, the owl was fitted with a USFWS band and returned to its recovery location in Shorewood, MN.

Now, after colliding with a window and breaking her right wing in Coon Rapids, the small owl once again was brought to TRC. Where did she spend her spring and summer? Did she migrate to northern latitudes or hang out in the metro area?

We only see about 5 banded birds each year and often they leave us with many intriguing questions. However, they also provide us with invaluable information on the perils they face, the effectiveness of rehabilitation techniques, and how their traditional movements and behaviors change in a dynamic world.

The two photos in this post are not of the individual mentioned, but rather pictures of the species for illustration. The first photo is very dark, but does show a band on the leg. The next photo is also of a Northern Saw-whet Owl.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Duke Lecture a Success!

Thank you to everyone for making the 2011 Duke Lecture a success! TRC's Executive Director, Dr. Julia Ponder, and Lori Arent, TRC's Clinic Manager, shared their experiences with the Galapagos Hawks as part of an important project in several of the Galapagos Islands. Keep checking back to our website for information on how to view the lecture online!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Duke Lecture tonight!

Tonight is our annual Duke Lecture. The topic is Galapagos: Fragile Past, Brigher Future. Dr. Julia Ponder and Lori Arent will share their experiences as part of the Galapagos project they were a part of. Event seating is full, but there is a Wait List available. Thank you to all, and we look forward to seeing you tonight!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Enrichment at TRC

The Raptor Center feels it is very important to make sure our education birds are healthy, mentally as well as physically. Since they see over 200,000 people each year as representatives of their wild cousins, it is a big responsibility to make sure that they get the best care possible. In the wild, raptors like the Turkey Vulture spend a great deal of their time searching for food and then tearing and extracting it. The education staff/intern and volunteers at The Raptor Center created some Halloween-themed ways to hide Nero’s food so he had to spend time figuring out how to get to it. This exercise is called enrichment.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Recent Clinic Case for TRC

Fall is a time of change - temperatures cool, leaves transition from green to beautiful hues of yellow, orange, and red; and many species of birds take to the sky as they begin their annual migration south. During this time, TRC sees several raptor species not seen during other seasons of the year. One such species is the short-eared owl. This widely distributed medium-sized owl is a bird of open grasslands, marshes and the tundra. It has an extensive range from Alaska, throughout North and South America, and even can be found on some islands in Galapagos (600 miles west of Equador). Birds in the extreme northern part of this range migrate south, the distance not well known. However what is known is that increased movements predisposes them to injuries and that is why TRC’s clinic treats a few each fall.

TRC case number 11-535 is an adult female short-eared owl injured in Floodwood, MN on 10/2/11. She suffered an open fracture of the right humerus from an unknown cause and underwent surgery to align and stabilize the fracture under the skilled hands of Dr. Irene Bueno, TRC’s veterinary resident from Spain. The bird is in the early stages of recovery and is doing well. It will take a good month for the fracture to heal, after which the owl will move into the reconditioning component of her recovery program.

Monday, October 10, 2011

TRC Patient Census Oct 10

We currently have 53 patients, and have admitted 560 so far this year.

Bald eagles 15

Red-tailed hawk 13
Broad-winged hawk 3
Cooper's hawk 4
Sharp-shinned hawk 1
Northern Goshawk 1

Peregrine falcon 3
Merlin 3

Great-horned owl 7
Short-eared owl 1
Northern Saw-whet owl 1

Turkey Vulture 1

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Digital Bridge Workshop November 19

The Raptor Center is offering a free workshop to teachers on November 19, at Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings, MN. It is part of the Digital Photography Bridge to Nature. This is a Minnesota DNR initiative, funded through the LCCMR (Legislative Citizens’ Commission for Minnesota Resources). The Raptor Center is partnering with the Minnesota DNR to help facilitate a portion of the workshops.

Each four-hour workshop is designed to train approximately 12-24 teachers in any subject area on how to use the digital camera kits. Completion of the workshop will allow you to check out a camera kit and you will earn 4 Continuing Education units. The workshop will focus on helping you enhance your current curriculum, not add to it! The workshop will cover how to use the digital cameras; basics of photography; hands-on activities with group discussion; brainstorming of curriculum ideas; downloading and editing techniques; and student project ideas.

• FREE access to digital cameras kits with 12 cameras
• LEARN new ways to tie digital photography experiences to fulfill state
education standards
• LEARN how to use student digital photos with WEB 2.0 applications
• Targeted for Grades 3-9

To register call Carpenter Nature Center at 651-437-4359
or email