Friday, August 30, 2013

TRC at State Fair Friday (Aug 30) and Monday (Sept 2)

If you start your Labor Day weekend early, come out to see some of your favorite TRC winged ambassadors today!  We'll be at the MNDNR stage at 3:00pm and 5:00pm.

We'll also be out on Monday, Sept 2, also at the MNDNR stage, at 11:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm.

Don't forget to catch Dr. Julia Ponder, our Executive Director, at the WCCO AM Radio booth on Monday, Sept 2 (8:15am) with our long-time friend Dave Lee.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Midwest Peregrine Society State Coordinators Meeting

This week, the state coordinators of the Midwest Peregrine Society met at the Field Museum of Chicago.  The last symposiums were held at the Milwaukee Public Museum in 1995 and 1997 (thank you to Greg Septon for this information).  This meeting was an opportunity for some of the folks involved with the original reintroduction plans to reconnect, as well as for more recent folks to meet and hear the history of the project.  These passionate, committed people work in each of their states/areas to band each season’s peregrine chicks, conduct field surveys, and educate and connect with the public and nest site personnel, among many of their efforts.  This meeting was a combination of past, present and future knowledge and expertise all together in one room.

The Field Museum of Chicago.
Topics of the meeting included future plans and goals, and new developments in areas of technology and possible research/study.  Brian Ratcliff, of Project Peregrine (Ontario), graciously phoned in to share the history and current plans for the province.  The group also recognized and remembered Dr. Harrison (Bud) Tordoff.  It was Bud's vision and ambition in the late 1970's that promoted the idea that we could and should begin the effort to restore peregrines to the Midwest. Under his leadership and with his inspiration, the Midwest Peregrine Society evolved and resulted in the release of almost 800 peregrines, and the establishment of a self-sustaining population some four to five times that of anything known historically.

TRC staff provides leadership, technical advice and administrative support for the Society.  A history of the restoration project, as well as a searchable database for the public to look up individual birds, sites and state information, is here. 

Photo of group: Back row, L to R: John Will, Grand Rapids, MI; Amy Ries, Raptor Resource Project; Jacquelyn Fallon, Midwest Peregrine Society; Greg Septon, Wisconsin FalconWatch; John Castrale, Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife; Karen Cleveland, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources.

Front row, L to R: Jennifer Norris, Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife; Pat Schlarbaum, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Kathryn Heyden, Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources; Patrick Redig, Midwest Peregrine Society; Amber Burnette, Midwest Peregrine Society; Mary Hennen, Bird Division, The Field Museum; Jeff Meshach, World Bird Sanctuary (MO).

M Hennen brought out eggshells collected in ND from 1899.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Set Your DVRs for Earthflight

Darner the American kestrel thinks you should watch this.
Set your DVRs for the new Earthflight series! 

This series is a breathtaking voyage with the world's birds, soaring across six continents, witnessing spectacular animal migrations and great natural wonders, swooping down to interact with life-and-death dramas on land and at sea. It employs state-of-the-art technology and sophisticated camera techniques to show the world from the amazing aerial perspective of a bird's-eye view.

In the Twin Cities, listings can be found starting Wednesday, Sept 4 on TPT public television. 
Screen shot from the series.

Screen shot from the series.

Advertisement for the series.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Summer Scholars at TRC

Summer Scholars gather at national conference
Accompanied by CVM faculty members Dr. Mark Rutherford and Dr. Bruce Walcheck, participants in the college's Summer Scholars Program attended the national Merial-NIH Veterinary Scholars Symposium at Michigan State University August 1-4. More than 400 DVM students from around the country took part to present their summer research and attend presentations by biomedical research veterinarians. The theme of this year's meeting was "Comparative Medicine: Meeting Global Needs.”

The Raptor Center hosted four of these student researchers:

Elizabeth Schnabel worked to establish normal coagulation parameters in red-tailed hawks in preparation for continued research on rodenticide studies (anticoagulant toxicity).

Peter Sebastian worked to establish baseline values for immune function in raptors as pilot work for studying the effects of contaminants on the immune system.

Carrie Robbins continued her work from last summer with Dr. Patrick Redig looking at Newcastle virus in wild birds and eggs.

Natalie Watson conducted a comprehensive literature review of research-based data from wild animals in rehabilitation centers and gathered preliminary information for CWHI’s eagle morbidity/mortality database.

TRC also hosted Miranda Shaw, the College of Veterinary Medicine’s first student admitted through the Veterinary Leadership through Early Admissions for Diversity (VetLEAD) program. Shaw’s time was divided between a research project that developed a formula to measure heart size in raptors and experiential learning in the clinic and education departments.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Samantha the Great Horned Owl Beats the Heat at TRC

Samantha the great horned owl enjoyed a spray bath today!  We make water available to the birds for normal preening and bathing activities.  This was a great way to help her keep cool on such a hot day! 

Thank you to Interpretive Naturalist Adam Barnett for taking the video and to our Marketing Intern Shahbaz Khan for making this available for the public to enjoy!  It truly is a team effort with everything we do here at TRC!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Stop and See TRC Before or After the State Fair!

Don't forget that TRC is open regular hours during the State Fair!  If you've never stopped to see us before, this is a great time!  We are open Tues - Fri 10:00am - 4:00pm and Sat/Sun noon to 4:00pm.

We are offering a special State Fair TRC Gift Shop Sale - ALL items in our gift shop at TRC are 10% off!  Shop for hats, clothing, toys, books and more! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

TRC Ren Fest Pics

Judy Moran and Artemis
 Thank you to all of you who came out this past weekend to see TRC at the Renaissance Festival!  We'd like to share a few pics taken by one of our volunteers, Jeff Fischer.
Judy Moran and Maxime

Tiffany Ploehn and Lois

TRC at the State Fair!

It's TRC's favorite Minnesota Get-Together, too! Come out and see us at the State Fair! We've created an event page on Facebook - tell us if we can look for you!
Aug 24
10-11am and 11:30-12:30pm. The program will be on the Labor Pavilion Stage on Danpatch Ave.
Aug 26
10-11am , 12-1pm and 2-3 pm (also Labor Pavilion State).
Aug 30
DNR stage at 3pm and 5pm!
Sept 2
DNR stage at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TRC Clinic Patient Census August 19

A bald eagle patient.
The Raptor Center has received 625 patients so far this year.  We currently have 94 patients.  Some are in individual patient cages while their injuries heal.  Others are in large flight rooms or outside in the rehabilitation courtyard for exercise before their release. 

We'd like to thank all of you who either take time to bring in the sick and injured birds you find, or let us know so we can coordinate transport to our clinic for these patients.  Since this is such an incredibly busy time, we hope you will understand that if you call to inquire about a patient you helped rescue, it may take us a little bit to get back to you.  We know you will understand that our priority has to be the injured birds we have, as well as the others we are trying to get here to help.  

Your gifts to support us give hope to all our patients.

The following table shows the patient census by species:

The Raptor Center
Current Patient Census 
(as of August 19, 2013)  


            Bald Eagle15
Hawks - Buteos
            Red-tailed Hawk20
            Broad-winged Hawk8
            Red-shouldered Hawk0
Hawks - Accipiters
            Sharp-shinned Hawk0
            Northern Goshawk0
            Cooper's Hawk16
            American Kestrel4
            Peregrine Falcon2
           Great Horned Owl23
           Short-eared Owl0
           Northern Saw-whet Owl0
           Barred Owl6

Monday, August 19, 2013

We'd Like to Invite You to Our Duke Lecture

We are very excited to announce that Dr. Thor Hanson is our 2013 Duke Lecture speaker.  Dr. Hanson is the author of Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle, among several other publications.  

When: Thursday, October 10 at 5:00 pm
Where: The Bell Museum of Natural History
10 Church Street SEMinneapolis, MN 55455
East Bank, Minneapolis campus, University of Minnesota
Where: The Bell Museum of Natural History10 Church Street SEMinneapolis, MN 55455East Bank, Minneapolis campus, University of Minnesota

This event is free and open to the public. It is intended for those with a general to intermediate knowledge of birds. RSVP's are required, and this event does fill quickly!  RSVP here.

The Duke Lecture Series began in 2006 by Dr. William H. and Mary E. Holleman, lifelong friends of Dr. Gary Duke, co-founder of The Raptor Center. The Hollemans’ gift to establish a lectureship endowment fund pays tribute to Dr. Duke’s work and legacy at the University of Minnesota and The Raptor Center. An annual lecture hosted by The Raptor Center features speakers on the topic of avian medicine, avian conservation, and other pertinent avian topics.

CE credit for veterinarians and technicians.  
Opportunity for book signing after the lecture.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Falconry and Raptors

The summer camp in which TRC partners with Richardson Nature Center talked about how care and management of raptors today owes much to the  sport of falconry.  Even though turkey vultures are not used for hunting in falconry, TRC uses equipment and training for Nero, just like other education raptors.  Bracelets, jesses and gloves are all equipment we use.

Our very own Lori Arent, Clinic Manager, was a guest speaker!  She used a scavenger hunt as a way for the campers to learn about equipment she uses as a falconer. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

TRC Got Mail!

Are you ready for a heart-warmer?  TRC received some wonderful thank-you cards from the summer camp (ages 4-12) at Kaleidoscope Place in Minneapolis.  (TRC staff Molly Gezella-Barancz was the presenter the program).  We were so touched at the time taken to create this cards with artwork and special wishes.  We scanned a few here to share.  (Please know that we appreciated ALL of them.)

Thank you to the students (and staff), and we will certainly share them with the birds and everyone here at TRC!  Our day was certainly brightened by these talented and kind campers.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

TRC at Renaissance Festival This Weekend!

Adam Barnett and Juneau the peregrine falcon
were there last year!
Looking for something fun to do this weekend? TRC is at the Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, MN this Saturday and Sunday (Aug 17 and Aug 18). There will be four-30 minute presentations starting at the following times each day: 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, & 3:15pm. We created an Event Page on our Facebook - tell us if you are going so we can look for you! Did you come out to see us in a past year's appearance there? Share a fun memory with all of us!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Do Raptors Have To Do With Dragons?

In our Wizarding World of Wildlife camp, campers had a choice of different dragons to build and fly.  The different wing, tail and body shapes were a way to teach how each of these "designs" allows for different skills for flying, hunting, etc. 

Raptors also have different wing, tail, and body designs for their different flying and hunting approaches.  Each of these body designs tells you a bit about the habitats they would be most successful in.  Shorter wings are great for bursts of speed; broad wings with larger surface area are well-suited for flight that is aided by thermals.

In short?  Dragons helped us teach about raptors!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Let TRC Host your Hatchday!

How would you like to celebrate your birthday (Hatchday) with some of your closest raptor friends?  TRC hosts Hatchday parties that are sure to be the most fun you've had on your special day!  

 All Hatchday parties include:

- a Raptors of Minnesota program,
- an opportunity to meet some of our education raptors,  - a tour of our TRC education bird courtyard,
- private party room with decorations and games,
- and a photo opportunity with one of our raptors!

For more information, call 612-624-2756 or email Our website link is here

Friday, August 9, 2013

Answers to the post today

The answers to the egg post quiz are: (L to R): peregrine falcon, great horned owl (very round eggs!) and osprey.

Do You Know Which Egg . . . ?

Can you name which bird species laid each egg in this photo?

We'll post the answers later today.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

TRC Molt Update: Mestaae

Back in June, we shared pictures of Otus, one of our education eastern screech-owls, as she was going through a molt.  This process is when old feathers are dropped and replaced with new ones. It is healthy and expected, and all birds go through this.  Though not every feather on the body is replaced every year, it is often very easy to see which ones are, especially around the face, wings and tail.

Mestaae is also molting right now (as are quite a few of our education ambassadors.) We expect that most of our birds will complete the molt for the year in the next few months.

You can see tiny pin feathers coming in,
between Mestaae's eyes.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

TRC Credited in Scientific American Magazine for Galapagos Work

A giant tortoise hatchling on Pinzón Island,
photographed by Francesca Cunninghame
at Charles Darwin Foundation
TRC is credited in a recent article in Scientific American magazine.   We are very proud of our assistance in the important work being done in the Galapagos.  To quote the article, "After more than 100 years, Galápagos giant tortoise hatchlings finally have a chance to thrive and survive on their native Pinzón Island, after conservationists cleared it of the invasive rats that nearly wiped out the animals."