Wednesday, December 14, 2016

I Wonder . . . What does Peregrination Mean?

For those who follow our social media, Maxime the bald eagle usually helps with our "I Wonder" series. Today, we felt Artemis the peregrine should ask, "I Wonder . . . what does peregrination mean?"

noun: Traveling from place to place, also a course of travel, especially on foot.

From Latin peregrinari (to travel abroad), from peregrinus (foreign), from peregre (abroad), from per- (through) + ager (field, country). Ultimately from the Indo-European root agro- (field), which is also the source of agriculture, acre, peregrine, pilgrim (a variant of peregrine), and agrestic. Earliest documented use: 1475.

Banded peregrine falcons through the Midwest Peregrine Society work ( have been documented "peregrinning" to Guatemala, Costa Rica and other countries.

(Thank you to

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

TRC 1000th Patient of 2016 Released Back to the Wild

Dr. Dana Franzen-Klein with patient 16-1000
The 1000th raptor clinic patient of 2016 was released back to the wild. This hatch-year great horned owl was admitted over the Thanksgiving holiday, stuck in a chimney. It had been mildly dehydrated, with some abrasions and soot on both carpi (wrists).

Clinic staff cleaned off the soot on the feathers, so the bird could not ingest or inhale it. Broken feathers were replaced with ones that had been salvaged from previous patients, and it was test flown to make sure there were no other concerns.

Dr. Dana Franzen-Klein, who rescued the bird, released it near the site it was recovered.

Here is a video of the release

Friday, November 18, 2016

Thank you from The Raptor Center

Thank you for helping The Raptor Center max our match!  You raised nearly $100,000 yesterday PLUS our $53,000 match!  

We are so grateful to our community of supporters. Your gift this year is more important than ever as we are having a record breaking year in our clinic. 

Here is a thank you from our staff, volunteers, and raptors.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

How YOU Can Help Bald Eagles

Each year, beginning in November and extending through early winter, TRC sees an increase in bald eagle clinic patient admissions. Unfortunately, those admitted this time of year are too often suffering from lead toxicity.  For the past 40 years lead exposure and lead poisoning have been major health issues for bald eagles received by or admitted to our clinic.  Read more here.
A bald eagle patient. 
TRC is seeing a record-breaking year in clinic admissions; so far we have admitted 969, which is already 55 more for the year more than our previous record year of 914 patients.

Will you help TRC continue to be there for these sick and injured birds?  We have a match for the first $53,000 in gifts.

Monday, November 7, 2016

What Does it Take to be a Winged Ambassador?

Lois the great horned owl at TRC's Fall Raptor Release event.

The Raptor Center is often asked how each of our winged ambassador birds is chosen for their roles as educators. These important teachers reach over 150,000 people of all ages each year with nose to beak experiences that engage and stimulate the imagination.

But what is the job description for being an education bird? What are the considerations that The Raptor Center’s team of clinic and education staff use to decide which birds will be successful in their new roles? We thought we'd describe it as if the birds were applying for a job.

                          Winged Ambassador - Description of Position
This position is responsible for teaching more than 150,000 people each year, as an ambassador for wild raptors.

Provide opportunities for all ages to learn about raptors and the world we share.

Minimum Qualifications

While training will be provided, the successful candidate must be able to adapt to various and diverse environments while appearing at programs.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities/Selection Criteria

-Ability to project a positive attitude towards the public and handlers
-Ability to represent The Raptor Center
-Willingness to travel and work a flexible schedule

Work Environment

This work is performed at The Raptor Center and at off-site venues.

Physical Requirements

Must be able to stand on glove, or perch, for program-designated time.


The Raptor Center Education Program Manager

Required Training

Must be able to travel in crate, step onto weight scale.

TRC will provide safe and healthy housing, food and continued medical care as needed.

Our winged ambassadors appear at events as diverse as community centers, stadiums and outdoor festivals. We can ensure that the environment/space that they are brought into is safe, but there are obviously many sights and sounds that are not a part of a wild raptors’ previous experience. While continued training helps the birds be tolerant of these diverse conditions, the individual bird always chooses how they respond. Some adapt very quickly to new situations with the help of specific training to aid in confidence building. Some birds will always be better suited to less “busy” situations, and so will conduct the majority of their programs onsite.

Each bird is presented with the best possible circumstances to succeed in their new roles as educators and ambassadors for their wild cousins. It’s our privilege to work with these magnificent birds, and we appreciate how much they give all of us the opportunity to learn