50. Visit the Raptors at the Environmental Learning Center

The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program has  raptors available for viewing at the CSU Environmental Learning Center at Drake and Ziegler (click for map).  These birds are the Raptor Center’s education ambassadors. Due to permanent injury they are non-releasable but a small army of dedicated volunteers provide special care for these animals. Anytime from dawn to dusk you can show up and see the birds in their cages but if you happen to arrive when a volunteer is present you’ll get to see them out of their cages being fed and cared for. There are no set times to see the volunteers in action because their personal schedules vary but I was lucky enough to see them handling this Swainson’s Hawk today.  She’s happily chewing on a groundhog leg and using her wings to hide the meal from onlookers.

I’m told that every once in a while an unlucky snake will enter her cage, when the volunteers arrive they find the dead snake draped over her perch! It’s quite a treat to see these raptors up close. Here’s a few other Educational Ambassadors currently available for viewing:

Golden Eagle

 

Bald Eagle

Turkey Vulture

Since 1979 the Rocky Mountain Raptor Center has taken in over 5,000 raptors and more than 70% are released back into the wild. 7 staff members and 150+ volunteers make it possible along with mostly individual donations. They have no government funding which is pretty impressive when you hear the special diet these birds enjoy: humanely harvested groundhog, fish, quail, and literally tons of rats and mice.  Currently, 6 orphaned Great Horned Owls are eating 30 mice a day! And that’s just 6 of the 200 birds admitted so far in 2010. Click here to read how you can help provide food for RMRP.

 If you’re interested in volunteering there’s an orientation meeting October 30th, 2010.  As a trained volunteer you’ll have the opportunity to feed and care for these beautiful birds. More info on becoming a volunteer can be found on the volunteer page of the Raptor Center website. This orientation will be at the main RMRP location on Vine (map).  Also, some education ambassador birds will be at the Sustainable Living Fair this Sunday, Sept 19.

3 Comments to “50. Visit the Raptors at the Environmental Learning Center”

  1. maldonado123 14 November 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Is the Raptor center on drake and zielger open year round or specific dates thanks

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