Wings of Wonder – Raptor Education, Rehabilitation and Research

The mission here is really about education
and educating people about the wonders of raptors. It’s necessary to protect and preserve the
habitat for these birds. We have ten non-releasable raptors that we
use as our ambassadors that attend all the programs that we present. I think that my goal is to open people’s minds
to the beauty and the awesomeness of these raptors. That’s our primary mission. Our secondary mission is the rehabilitation
work. So we take in sick, injured and orphaned raptors
with the goal of getting them healthy and back out to the wild. That’s the service that we provide to the
planet and this community, but education is our primary focus. Office work happens first thing in the morning. Walk through the flight pens. Walk by and make sure everybody is accounted
for and then start preparing diets for the raptors. We feed a variety of different kinds of meats. So, putting the diets together for each bird
and then heading out and cleaning flight pens and feeding the birds. In a typical year we probably have about 75
raptors come through, but this year it’s going to be more like 175. We do a full exam on the birds and then within
24 hours that bird is seen by one of our attending vets. The bird might be in intensive care here for
two weeks. The bird would go from intensive care out
to a 10 by 12 foot enclosure, then the bird is moved into a 20 foot flight pen and then
into the 100 foot flight pen. Once they’re in the 100 foot flight pen and
they become aerobically conditioned and they’re released soon after that. We invite the public to just about every single
one of our releases and that’s our gift back to the public for their support, their financial
support. We do a five, four, three, two, one so everybody
is ready with their cameras and the bird, typically I just kind of let the bird out
of my hands, and it gets its feet on the ground and then opens its wings and gets lift that
way. It’s another way to educate and to open people’s

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