Monday, April 14, 2014

Former Red-tailed Hawk Patient Has Many to Thank

You might recall a story we did in January about a young red-tailed hawk.  It was reported to be unable to fly along the shore of the Mississippi River in Saint Paul. The poor hawk’s feathers were frozen together, preventing him from flying. For some unknown reason, the bird took a dip in the icy cold river on a subzero day. 

 A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer, and Station 6 of the Saint Paul Fire Department, partnered to rescue this bird.  Upon admission to TRC's clinic, the hawk was diagnosed as hypothermic, with signs of frostbite on its left foot. 

We are happy to report that the bird was released recently by a member of Station 6. We thank all of the municipal, state, federal and other agencies who help coordinate rescues and transport of raptors to our clinic every day.  And of course, several of our TRC volunteers must be thanked as they helped with the release and took these photos to share with you. 

The Raptor Center is grateful to all of our partners and friends who play roles in the conservation of raptors.  Will you consider a gift to help us continue to care for sick and injured raptors, and educate the public on what they can do?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tribute to Leuc the Bald Eagle - A True Ambassador

Over the years, many of you have had the chance to "meet" our winged ambassador Leuc the bald eagle.  He was the first to "greet" any visitors who came to our location on the St Paul campus. 

It is with heavy heart that we let you know Leuc passed away very quietly and unexpectedly this week.  Veterinary staff was present and efforts to revive him were started immediately. Preliminary necropsy results indicate a ruptured aneurysm. 

TRC volunteer Neil Ross wrote this tribute to a true ambassador.  Leuc was the face of TRC for many years.  He will be remembered as an important part of TRC's history, for all that he did to further the understanding of his wild eagle cousins.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thank You, TRC Volunteers!

Nero is presented with his "cake."
The Raptor Center has much to celebrate and be thankful.  This year is our 40th anniversary.  This week is National Volunteer Week.  We hosted a volunteer gathering that doubled as a "40th Hatchday Party" for Nero, our education turkey vulture.  Nero turns 40 this year; he was hatched in 1974, the same year TRC was!

There were vulture-decorated cakes for our volunteers (one of which was created by volunteer Peg D.)  Nero had a cake made just for him, which was an enrichment way to offer some of his favorite foods, chicken and fish!
Nero's cake before his treats are put into it.

We cannot thank our volunteers enough for their energy after long days at work to show up at TRC and give something back to the community.  These busy adults spend their precious free time preparing raptor food and cleaning cages at TRC each day.  Our accomplishments would be so much less and our reach so limited without the richness of our volunteer community.  We are forever in debt to these wonderful people who share our passion for raptors and make a difference every day of our lives.

Peg D, TRC Volunteer, created this cake.

Volunteers enjoyed the turkey vulture themed party!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Raptor Tails Pre-school Programs Spring 2014

The Raptor Center was host to our first spring Raptor Tails program - Raptor Nests, Eggs and Chicks.  The class participants learned about how raptors and other animals take care of their families, and got to make their own "baby" owls, eggs and nests.

We still have room in our April 15 program - Raptors Talons and Beaks.  Information is on our website here.

Raptor Tails is an activity-oriented learning experience for ages 3-5 about raptors and their environment.  Children will hear stories, take part in activities, and get to meet a live raptor each session. Please join us for one or all the sessions.

Classes are from 10:15 am to 11:00 am on Tuesdays at The Raptor Center, 1920 Fitch Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, and are limited to 6 children.  Call 612-625-0201 to pre-register.  Pre-registration price for each class is $5 per child, or $7.50 for two children in the same family.  Payment can be made the day of the class.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

TRC Partners with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota

The Raptor Center enjoys working with several professional peer groups.  One of them, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota (WRC), often accepts raptor patients.  They will address any immediate medical concerns, and then make arrangements to have these patients brought to TRC. 

Recently, a beautiful male Merlin was brought to TRC from WRC.  He was treated for mild head trauma, possibly from a window collision.  After just a few days' stay, he was released, very near where he very likely has a territory.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Successful Bald Eagle Release in Shakopee

TRC volunteer Jim K.

The Raptor Center was able to successfully release one of the adult male bald eagles that was recovered in the Shakopee area a few weeks ago.  After a chelation process that removed the lead from his blood, and treatment of the soft tissue injuries he sustained from the talons of the other eagle, he was returned to the skies, not far from where he was recovered.  The second eagle is still undergoing treatment with the hope that it, too, will be ready for release in a few weeks. 

The most common cause of lead toxicity in eagles is spent lead hunting ammunition.  Lead poisoning has long been recognized to be a serious problem in bald eagles admitted to The Raptor Center.

Dr. Julia Ponder, TRC’s Executive Director, recently authored a piece for the Food Policy Research Center on hunting ammunition and implications for public health. 

Thank you to TRC volunteers Jim K. (handling and releasing) and Les C. for the photos.

TRC volunteer Jim K. and TRC Education Program Manager Gail Buhl