Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Raptor Center is in IA and WI for Bald Eagle programs

If you live in Iowa or Wisconsin, you can see The Raptor Center at a couple of upcoming public programs. On March 3, in Ferryville WI, the Third Annual Bald Eagle Watching Day is in Ferryville at the Community Center located on Highway 35, ‘The Great River Road.

In Pella, IA, on March 3, you can catch us at the 24th Bald Eagle Day at Red Rock Central College’s Graham Conference Center and Douwstra Auditorium and Lake Red Rock’s North Tailwater Recreation Area.

You can find information on these, and all of our other public programs, at our Event Calendar.

Monday, February 27, 2012

TRC in Pierre, SD

The Raptor Center was in Pierre, SD over the weekend to help educate and celebrate Bald Eagle Days. Here is an article from the Pierre Capital Journal. The photo is taken from that article.

Friday, February 24, 2012

KARE 11 Simply Science piece on TRC

Great story Thursday night on KARE 11 Simply Science. It shows part of the rehabilitation process for two Snowy Owls in TRC's clinic.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

KSTP story on Snowy Owls

In case you missed it, here is a link to the snowy owls feature on KSTP-5 Wednesday evening.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

KSTP-5 and KARE11 at TRC for Snowy Owls

The Raptor Center hosted two groups of press friends today: KSTP-5 and KARE-11. KSTP-5 is doing a story on snowy owls tonight, and KARE-11 is featuring them on the Simply Science segment Thursday evening.
Dr. Julia Ponder, our Executive Director, talked about what TRC does in the flight conditioning process. Greg Hansen, Senior Veterinary Technician, also accompanied the Wednesday Flight Crew of volunteers. Two juvenile (second year) male snowy owls were flown. As one of the last parts of the rehabilitation process, raptors are exercised to strengthen their flight muscles, improve their flight mechanics and increase their endurance. During these flights they are given a careful assessment of their progress and condition. The ongoing plan for their rehabilitation is evaluated and modified for each individual. The Raptor Center employs a technique called creance training that was scientifically developed and tested through research methodology by our Clinic Manager, Lori Arent.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Upcoming Professional Workshops at TRC

The Raptor Center is hosting two workshops this spring for professionals. The one-day Avian Orthopedic Workshop will provide veterinarians with both didactic and practical knowledge of avian orthopedic repair. The four-day Basic Raptor Rehabilitation Worshop will provide an introduction to the steps involved in raptor rehabilitation. It is designed for permitted rehabilitators with 2+ years of experience, and veterinarians who assist them. Information and registration can be found through the links to the pages for each workshop.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Raptor Center at Roseville Public Library

We are appearing at the Roseville Public Library on Saturday, February 25, at 11:15 - 12 noon. A story will be read in the Children's section, and then there will be a chance to meet our winged ambassadors!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Summer Camp Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for The Raptor Center's Summer Camps! We offer fun ways to learn in a variety of topics: Raptor Vet, Enraptured with Raptors, Grossology, Wizarding World of Wildlife, and Crazy about Owls. For ages 6-15. Click here for more information on the classes, dates and to register.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lights and Chimneys and What You Can Do for Owls

What do strings of holiday lights and chimneys have in common? Think about this for a bit and we will get to the answer in a moment.

Did you know that during the late winter and early spring, several owl species in MN become more active as they establish pair bonds and breeding territories for the upcoming season? In fact, right now great horned owls are laying their eggs and in a few weeks, barred owls and eastern screech owls will begin the search for a nest cavity. With this increased activity comes the increased potential for injury and thus many of the birds the clinic treats during the first 3 months of the year are owls.

Injuries are sometimes traumatic, and frequently they are caused by entrapment. This is the answer to the question about connection between outdoor holiday lights and chimneys. Owls can easily get entangled in the lights decorating trees and cavity nesting species can get caught in what they perceive to be a welcoming cavity – a chimney. In both cases, the birds can’t free themselves, often get injured while trying to escape, may become malnourished if trapped for more than a few days, and end up in need of help. There are things we can do to help prevent these situations from happening:

1. Don’t wait to take down those festive strings of lights. Taking them down right after the holidays may continue to spread the holiday cheer by potentially saving an owl’s life.
2. Make sure that if you have a chimney it is properly fitted with a cap. Local chimney companies can provide that service.

Please spread the word with your family and friends. A little preventative action on your part can help our owl neighbors stay healthy especially during their reproductive season.

(The pictures included in this post are of our staff cleaning a very sooty barred owl, a barred owl with soot still visible around the eyes, and a great horned owl that was photographed near some holiday lights in a Metro area location.)

Monday, February 6, 2012

2011 Year End Numbers for TRC Clinic

Species ----------------- No. admitted
Bald eagle ...........................121
American kestrel ...............22
Barred owl ..........................57
Broad-winged hawk ..........23
Cooper’s hawk ...................101
Eastern screech owl ..........15
Great gray owl ..................1
Great horned owl ..............95
Long eared owl ..................8
Merlin .................................11
Northern goshawk ............3
Northern harrier ..............2
Northern saw-whet owl ..22
Osprey ..............................14
Peregrine falcon ..............23
Red-shouldered hawk ....7
Red-tailed hawk .............116
Rough-legged hawk .......4
Sharp-shinned hawk .....24
Short-eared owl ............4
Snowy owl .....................10
Swainson’s hawk ..........1
Turkey vulture ............16
Total 23 species

699 Birds admitted to clinic in 2011

In terms of the number of patients treated, 2011 was a fairly average year for TRC’s clinic. The top 5 species seen were bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, Cooper’s hawks, great horned owls and barred owls. However, the year did bring something new and something old. The “new” was the irruption of snowy owls seen in the U.S.; the clinic saw 10 as patients, compared to the 0-3 usually treated. The something “old” was the number of bald eagles treated for lead poisoning during the early to mid winter. Of the 21 bald eagles admitted from Oct 24-Dec 31, 14 (66.7%) suffered from the toxic effects of lead.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dr Ponder Speaking at Two Meetings

Dr. Julia Ponder, Executive Director of The Raptor Center, will speak at two upcoming meetings about the the work she did with the Galapagos Hawks. She will be at the February meeting of the St Paul Audubon Society chapter meeting. It is Thursday, February 9 at 7 pm, at the Fairview Community Center, 1910 W. County Road B, Roseville, MN.
Dr. Ponder is also speaking on this topic at the Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter (MRVAC) meeting on Thursday, March 22nd, at 7:30pm. It is at the Minnesota River Valley Wildlife Refuge visitor's center in Bloomington. Please note seating is limited.