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.”


  1. Rehabilitation center follows a personalized treatment plan. Professionals at these centers conduct comprehensive diagnosis along with psychological assessment and physical tests. This kind of in-depth analysis enables them to figure out an individualized treatment plan for their patients. Even family therapy sessions are conducted.