Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Raptor Center Education Program and Bus Scholarship

libraryThe opportunity for young learners to be inspired by our winged ambassadors and our education programs is important to TRC.  We are excited to announce that we have three types of scholarships that will make it possible for your school to experience what raptors can teach us about the world we share.

We have scholarships for:  Field trip TO The Raptor Center (we call this an On-site program),

Bus transportation TO The Raptor Center, provided by a generous grant from The Donald Weesner Foundation,

And a scholarship for The Raptor Center to come to YOU (we call this an Off-site program), provided by generous funding by Project Lighthouse.

You can find information, and the downloadable form on our website here.

Our Education Program Scheduling Department can be reached at raptored@umn.edu, or 612-624-2756.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Update on Construction at TRC from Lois the Great Horned Owl

Lois the great horned owl.

Lois the great horned owl has visited several schools recently.  She is transported to her program locations in her travel crate.  She peeked out the door of her crate recently, and asked to give the latest update on the construction here at TRC.

Interior framework is going up!
Siding of the new construction; photo taken from side,
near parking meters out front of TRC.

“The outer siding for the new housing for me and my fellow winged ambassadors is very visible from the loading area where I get ready to go to programs.  It looks very much like overlapping feathers, which I approve of, though they are all square and the same color.  I much prefer the color, pattern, and shape diversity of my own feathers. 
Siding of the new construction: photo taken
from parking meters out front.  Sun was
just coming up!

The roof structure, and outer siding going up.

The framework for our individual housing areas that we call mews seems to be coming along nicely.  I can also see the shape of the roof that will be over the whole area.  The ceilings over the human walkways are solid.  I never minded snow on my head but I know the volunteers and staff will appreciate not having to knock snow off of mesh ceilings as they used to do.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Raptor Center Clinic Patient Census February 16, 2015

A red-tailed hawk patient.

We have received 44 wild patients so far in 2015.  We currently have 55 patients.  Some of these were admitted in 2014.  Some are in individual patient cages while their injuries heal.  Others are in large flight rooms or in managed areas for exercise before their release. You can see our clinic patient census weekly on our website here

The following table shows the patient census by species:
The Raptor Center
Current Patient Census
(as of February 16, 2015) 
            Bald Eagle
            Golden Eagle
Hawks - Buteos
            Red-tailed Hawk
            Broad-winged Hawk
Hawks - Accipiters
            Northern Goshawk
            Cooper's Hawk

            American Kestrel

           Great Horned Owl
           Northern Hawk-owl
           Northern Saw-whet Owl
           Barred Owl
           Eastern Screech-owl
           Snowy Owl
           Great Gray Owl
           Long-eared Owl
Others (Turkey Vulture)
As always, we could not do this work without the help of so many.  Our volunteers come in on cold, snowy days.  And you, our friends, continue to support us with your generous gifts to help us be there for these sick and injured raptor patients. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Explore Your Creative Side - Art and Photo Class at TRC in March!

Drawing Together - Photograph and Draw Raptors

Have you ever wanted to express your passion and enthusiasm for raptors in an artistic way?  Do you love art, and want to try drawing and photographing live raptor subjects?

This workshop, which is geared for adults and children to experience together, is a perfect way to weave education and art together. You will be introduced to some of The Raptor Center's winged ambassador raptors, and then participate in a discussion of how they fit into our natural world.  You will get to hold raptor bio-artifacts such as feathers and skulls, which are important objects of natural history. Following the short  presentation on digital photography and then photographing live raptors, the class will be introduced to the tools and techniques to portray live birds or bird artifacts.  You may find that the class time is not long enough to finish your artistic piece, but your photos can be used for reference for your continuing exploration of raptors in art.

Be prepared to photograph in natural (outdoor) settings, by dressing appropriately and bringing a camera of any type to capture reference material.

Beginners welcome!

Title: Drawing Together: A Photography and Art Class for Kids Ages 8-15 and One Adult

Dates and Times (each date and time is a separate class; you register for only one class):
March 14, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. OR
March 15, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Cost: $40 per child

Cancellation fee: 50% before March 1 for both classes.

Location: The Raptor Center

Contact/Register: 612-624-4745 or raptor@umn.edu

Website link here.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I Wonder . . . Can Bald Eagles Swim?

You can imagine that many of the 150,000 + people TRC reaches every year with our education experiences have asked some terrific questions about raptors.  We wanted to highlight some of those questions with a new series called, "I Wonder. . ."

Stay tuned to our social media outlets for more creative ways to learn together about raptors and the world we share.  As we roll out some new features at our Center in the coming year, we look forward to new ways of hearing about YOUR great questions and ideas, and being able to feature YOUR creativity and expressions of your passion for raptors! 

Question: Can Bald Eagles Swim?

Answer: Yes, although some refer to it as paddling or rowing in the water. As fish eaters, bald eagles occasionally find themselves in the water and unable to take off in flight. In this situation, they have often been observed to use their wings to push themselves across the water to shore, where they may take time to allow their feathers to dry before eventually taking to the sky again.

The National Eagle Center (http://www.nationaleaglecenter.org/learn/faq/) says, “bald eagles do not dive into the water but rather skim across the top catching fish near the surface.  During salmon runs in Alaska, bald eagles have been observed standing on the shoreline and pouncing on salmon as the fish swims into shallow water. If a bald eagle catches a fish that is too heavy to lift, it may grasp the fish with its talons and use its wings like oars to swim to shore.”