Monday, September 30, 2013

All About Birds - Great Online Guide from Cornell

The All About Birds section of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a great database of photos, video, audio clips and information on your all your favorite bird species.  The main browse section lets you select from either bird name or shape.  Here is a link for raptors. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Come out for the Fall Raptor Release!

Come out tomorrow to join us for our Fall Raptor Release at Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings, MN.  We will be there rain or shine.

See the story and information here with a piece from our friends at AHC here.

TRC Patient "Flight School"

Yesterday TRC made some new friends at the University!  The creative staff at the Office of the Vice President for Research came out with our Thursday volunteer flight crew, and also met some of our education winged ambassadors.  Watch a video of a great horned owl patient on a creance line, being flown for physical reconditioning as a part of the rehabilitation process.  Here is a link to some photos taken during the visit.  We look forward to future visits and opportunities to work together soon!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thank a Warbler for your Cup of Coffee

Read this great article from Nature about how warblers like the yellow warbler are a natural way to address beetles that infest coffee plantations and can destroy up to 75% of their crops.  The birds' positive economic impact makes incorporating conservation of their habitat into management of pests easier to do - and better for all of us.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Some Exciting News About Our Mews!

If you are one of the 20,000 folks who visit our facility on the St Paul campus of the University of Minnesota each year, you will notice some changes very soon.  Next year we plan to build a new outdoor education center and bird housing. Raptor enclosures are traditionally called "mews."  We are very excited about this opportunity to improve/replace our current structures, and what we then will be able to offer the public and our birds.

We still need to raise $300,000 of the funds expected to complete the project.  Will you consider helping us with a gift?  We are proud to be a part of local and international communities of raptor enthusiasts.  Thank you to all for helping us continue our work. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Youth Raptor Corps Needs YOU!

We love involving young learners in our work, and helping them discover new interests and ways to personally contribute to things that matter to them.

Join our youth service-learning club, Youth Raptor Corps (YRC). Each meeting will include an opportunity to see live raptors up close and learn exciting facts about their environment, natural history, and what you can do to positively impact them. Participants will also engage in service-learning projects aimed at benefiting TRC’s mission. Recommended for grades 5 - 8.

We meet from 4:00-5:30pm the second Tuesday of every month starting in October and running through May. 
The first date is October 1(this is the exception to the second Tuesday).  Cost is $25 per family.

Information to register and dates are on our website here

Friday, September 20, 2013

10 Things You Can Do for Migrating Birds

Birds of every kind - songbirds, raptors, and shorebirds - fly from their winter homes in the south to their summer breeding grounds in places as far north as the Arctic in the spring, and then back south in the fall. Along the way they encounter many perils including bright lights and tall buildings, cats and toxic lawns.
Fortunately, people can help ensure a safer journey for migrating birds. Backyards and parks, often key stopover points for many species, can become bird-friendly rest stops with a few simple steps. Audubon urges people to take the following actions:
1) Reduce or eliminate pesticide and herbicide use. Using fewer chemicals in your yard and home helps keep wildlife, pets and people healthy.
2) Plant native plants. Natives provide birds with food in the form of fruit and seeds, and are also home to tasty invertebrates like bugs and spiders.
3) Keep cats inside. Keeping cats indoors ensures that birds outdoors stay safe and cats benefit too; indoor cats live much longer than cats that go outside.
4) Prevent window collisions. Make sure birds can see (and avoid) your windows by putting up screens, closing drapes and blinds when you leave the house, or stick multiple decals on the glass (decals need to be spaced closely together to be effective - no more than two to four inches apart).
5) Provide cover in your backyard. Leave snags for nesting places and stack downed tree limbs to create a brush pile, which is a great source of cover for birds during bad weather.
6) Help birds stay on course. Close your blinds at night and turn off lights you aren't using. Some birds use constellations to guide them on their annual migrations, and bright lights can disrupt them.
7) Create or protect water sources in your yard. Birds need water to drink and bathe in, just like we do. Be sure to change the water two to three times per week when mosquitoes are breeding.
8) Landscape for birds. Use lots of layers, including understory, ground cover, shrubs, and trees. Multiple levels of plants let birds use different layers for different purposes, such as nesting, feeding, and singing.
9) Extend a bird safety net beyond your backyard. Contact your local Audubon Chapter to learn about opportunities to create healthy habitat in parks, beaches and other places in your community.
10) Take the Audubon At Home Healthy Yard Pledge! When you take the Pledge, you commit to conserving water, planting native species, removing invasive plants, reducing pesticide use, protecting water quality, and keeping birds safe in your yard.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Register for Raptor Tails Pre-School Programs at TRC

There is still some room in our upcoming Raptor Tails pre-school programs. 

Fall 2013 Session: Raptors in the Fall and Winter
• October 1: Fabulous Feathers and Flight
• October 15: All About Owls: Their Hearing and Eyesight
• October 22: All About Owls: Grossology

Raptor Tails is an activity-oriented learning experience for ages 3-5 about raptors and their environment.  Children will hear stories, take part in activities, and get to meet a live raptor each session.  The goal of this program is for pre-schoolers to develop a positive relationship with raptors and the environment. 
Please join us for one or all the sessions.

Classes are from 10:15 am to 11:00 am on Tuesdays at The Raptor Center, 1920 Fitch Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, and are limited to 10 children.  

A parent or guardian must accompany each child.  

Call 612-625-0201 to pre-register.  Pre-registration price for each class is $5 per child, or $7.50 for two children in the same family.  Payment can be made the day of the class.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

TRC Clinic Patient Census September 16

Peregrine falcon patient
The Raptor Center has received 736 patients so far this year.  We currently have 98 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. For the calendar year 2012, we received 786 wild birds.  This was the highest number since 2005, and 87 more patients than in 2011.  

Would you consider a gift to help us with the cost of food to feed these hungry patients?  

The Raptor Center
Current Patient Census
(as of September 16, 2013)  

            Bald Eagle
Hawks - Buteos
            Red-tailed Hawk
            Broad-winged Hawk
            Swainson's Hawk
Hawks - Accipiters
            Sharp-shinned Hawk
            Northern Goshawk
            Cooper's Hawk

            American Kestrel
            Peregrine Falcon

           Great Horned Owl
           Barred Owl
Others (Turkey Vulture)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Another Way to Shop - Help TRC, and the Environment!

One of our Recycling for Raptors partners, Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op, has made us their September Eco-Stamp beneficiary!  When you shop there with your own bags, you can choose to take a 5¢ credit or donate the nickle to TRC.  The program's August beneficiary received over $900. 

We are very proud of our volunteer-run Recycling for Raptors program.  Since its beginning, we have kept over 125,000 used inkjet cartridges out of landfills.

Here is a map of drop-off sites. You can always plan a trip to TRC and bring them with you, too. 

Or - bring your used inkjet cartridges to our Fall Raptor Release on September 28, Carpenter Nature Center, in Hastings, MN. 

Thank you for being our partner in keeping the environment healthier for raptors and humans alike.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Would You Like a TRC Program at Your School or Library?

Are you an educator, parent, or librarian?  Would you like a local program from The Raptor Center to come to your school or library?  All you need to do is ask!

The Geek Partnership Society (GPS) is a group of geeks working in cooperation with organizations like TRC to better serve the geek community of the Saint Paul/Minneapolis area.  They do this by sponsoring science programs for middle to low income schools.

They invite you to an information session this Wednesday, September 18, at 1121 Jackson Street, #107, Minneapolis, MN 55413, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.  This information session will show examples of their educational vendors by bringing in representatives of the programs they sponsor - like TRC! Come early!  TRC will present first.

Project Lighthouse is one of the examples of GPS’s commitment to local community and education.  (Email to contact them is  TRC is proud of our partnership with this group, and encourage educators, parents and librarians to attend this event.