Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Raptor Center - Here, There and Everywhere

Though TRC's winged ambassadors and interpretive naturalist staff travel throughout the year, summers are particularly busy times.  We will visit many of the 150,000 people we see each year in the next few weeks.  Here is a map we put together of cities in Minnesota, as well as other states/cities, that we have either appeared in, or will, for calendar year 2014.  There are 94 cities in Minnesota alone.  Four more states and 17 other cities mean there were lots of opportunities to meet friends.

Keep an eye on our Public Events calendar for information on where we’ll be!  Looking forward to seeing you all!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Guest Blogger Tuesday - Wildlife Professional Making a Difference

Curt at the Care and Management of Captive
Raptors Workshop

Today is our last installment of Guest Blogger Tuesday in July.  We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing from these amazing people, and we look forward to featuring more inspirational stories like theirs in the future.

We asked a former participant of our professional workshops, Curt LeVan, 2011 Care and Management of Captive Raptors, to share what he’s done with the training he received at TRC. We believe that training the future leaders in raptor medicine and conservation is an important part of addressing the shared environmental challenges for humans and raptors.  We thank Curt so much for writing about how his work is making a difference in another part of the country.

Curt’s story: “Back in 2011 I had already spent several years volunteering with a raptor rehabilitation facility near my home in Virginia but was disappointed that it mainly involved simple feeding and cage cleaning. Looking to gain more advanced skills, I attended The Raptor Center's workshop on Care and Management of Captive Raptors. At this workshop I particularly benefited from the mornings spent working with the vets in the clinic as this gave me hands-on experience treating raptors. Also, the high quality of care at The Raptor Center encouraged me to consider creating my own facility based on similar standards.

Virginia requires a two-year rehabilitation apprenticeship and it is difficult to find a raptor sponsor. Eventually I made contact with the Wildlife Center of Virginia and they agreed to sponsor me, although they were located more than two hours away. After many hours on the road I completed my apprenticeship and now have both the federal and state permits. I'm sure that without the experience at The Raptor Center I wouldn't have had the motivation to get started down this road and now I'm happily planning ahead for a barn owl release.

Last night I entered a raptor cage and discovered a fledgling, one of four barn owls which are the first raptors I've taken in under my own federal rehabilitation permit. The four owlets came to me when the silo which contained their nest was torn down and the parents could not be located. When they are old enough I will need to work with local farmers to find a suitable release location. It took me nearly five years to get to this point but I'm excited that this day has arrived.”

Monday, July 28, 2014

Answers to Baby Raptors Post

Baby raptor 1 is a Cooper's hawk; Baby raptors 2 are merlins; Baby raptor 3 is a red-shouldered hawk. 

Guess the Baby Raptor Species

It's been a very busy year in our clinic with "baby raptor" season.  Can you name the three species of raptors in these photos?   We will post the answers later today. 

Thank you for your support.  It's because of your generous gifts that we are able to always be there for raptors.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Whisper the Barn Owl Gets Lunch

Can you find the mouse lunch that Whisper the education barn owl was given in the first photo of this series?   (Hint: look to the lower left.  It is hidden!)

She was also given several enrichment “toys” to keep her mind as healthy as her body.  Before she found her mouse, she chose to chase and grasp her “prey”, which was a tennis ball.  Our winged ambassadors are given opportunities to mimic natural behavior, including what it would take to secure their own prey/lunch.  They do have to be taught to interact with their enrichment toys, and the staff and volunteers are continually thinking up new materials and activities.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Read About a Four-Ounce Bird Who Has Already Traveled The Distance From the Earth to the Moon

You read the title of this blog post correctly - we'd like to share the story of a shorebird called a red knot, who has made 21 migration trips in his lifetime.  He's nicknamed "Moonbird" because he has already flown the equivalent distance between the Earth and the moon, and more than halfway back during his epic migrations. His route from the tip of South America to the top of Canada takes him through Delaware Bay, where his leg band is identified.

Read this amazing story here