Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Help with Identifying Your Feathered Friends

Screen shot from Hawk Ridge's Raptor ID Guide.
For the next couple of months, we'll often focus on topics related to migration.  We thought we'd share some great sites that will help you identify some of the birds that you might share your yard, and skies, with, as they move through to southern wintering grounds. 

For help with identifying raptors, especially in flight, Hawk Ridge has a printable pdf with silhouettes and other great information here.







For great general information about raptors (and not just ones found in North America), the Peregrine Fund has a great resource here







A great site with information on all things bird - including natural history, plumages, conservation topics as well as ways to identify birds - is Audubon's Online Guide to North American Birds. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

TRC Clinic Patient Census August 12, 2014


A red-tailed hawk patient.

We have received 439 wild patients so far in 2014.  We currently have 85 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. We post the clinic census weekly on our webpage here.  The following table shows the patient census by species:

The Raptor Center
Current Patient Census
(as of August 12, 2014) 
 
Eagles
            Bald Eagle
17
Hawks - Buteos
            Red-tailed Hawk
28
            Broad-winged Hawk
9
            Red-shouldered Hawk
1
Hawks - Accipiters
            Cooper's Hawk
8
Falcons

            American Kestrel
1
            Peregrine Falcon
1
            Merlin
5
Owls

           Great Horned Owl
11
           Barred Owl
2
           Eastern Screech-owl
1
           Long-eared Owl
1

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Learn About Raptors Through LearningLife Course

Staff from TRC will teach a three-part course through the University's LearningLife program.  It is a non-credit program, and intended for those with a desire to keep learning as adults.

This course offers the opportunity to study with three members of the University Raptor Center's highly trained staff. World-renowned for their work with these remarkable birds, you will learn to identify raptor species found in Minnesota, as well as species' migration patterns, roles in the ecosystem, and ultimately, how those roles influence the cycle of species' diversity.

The course meets 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, three Thursdays, from 11/06/2014 - 11/20/2014.

More information and register here:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Great Gift to TRC!




Sam with his zebra finches.
The Raptor Center wanted to share this story about a young supporter of ours.  During his family’s recent garage sale, Sam, 11, asked for donations for TRC.  He also donated his own earnings from his items at the garage sale.

Sam, thank you for thinking of us.  We cannot do this work without you.  Each and every gift means so much, and makes a difference.  Our raptors – the winged education staff as well as the clinic patients – say thank you.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Birds and Windows

White-throated sparrows like this one migrate through
urban areas, encountering windows and other obstacles
in urban landscapes.


We wanted to share this great article from Val Cunningham, in the Star Tribune.  It has some important information on what exactly happens with birds and windows, and specifically looks at what we all can do to help with the increased "avian air traffic" this fall migration season. 

Other Project BirdSafe links and resources from Audubon Minnesota  here. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Join Youth RaptorCorps!

Are you in grades 5-8, and interested in helping raptors, the environment, and developing into a budding naturalist?  Join our youth service-learning club, Youth RaptorCorps!  Each meeting will include an opportunity to see live raptors up close and learn about their natural history, the environment we share, and how we can impact them.  Participants also engage in service-learning projects aimed at benefitting TRC's mission such as making American kestrel boxes, preparing raptor enrichment toys, packaging owl pellets, field research, maintaining our raptor gloves and equipment, making bookmarks/buttons, and public interpretation.

We meet from 4:00pm-5:30pm the second Tuesday of every month starting in October.  Our final meeting in May will be at the Spring Raptor Release event, where participants can educate the public on all the knowledge they have gained.

Cost is $25 per family.

Registration is required and is limited to 20 students. Please call 612-624-4836 or email hnili003@umn.edu and give your child's name, grade, and age, as well as your name, email and phone number.  You will be contacted via email to complete the final registration process.

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!