Educational evolution
April 24, 2024
Melissa Moore
A person holds a great horned owl in front of a crowd

When meeting Luta the red-tailed hawk, Bubo the great horned owl, or any of The Raptor Center’s (TRC) 27 ambassador birds, the impact of the encounter is evident. People’s hearts burst open, igniting a passion for raptors and conservation. These ambassadors are at the heart of TRC’s mission, bridging the gap between humans and wildlife through education.

Beyond pioneering raptor medicine, TRC has developed comprehensive methods to assess the welfare of captive raptors, using medical and behavioral data to refine care and management strategies.

In 2007, the publication of “Care and Management of Captive Raptors” by TRC’s Assistant Director Lori Arent became the standard in care for the field. Covering everything from raptor diets, nutrition, first aid, housing, and training, this book—alongside TRC’s workshops—has equipped thousands of educators and animal care professionals with the knowledge to excel in raptor conservation.

Until then, raptor care drew heavily on centuries of falconry practices. However, the inception of organizations such as TRC introduced a modern scientific approach, blending raptor medicine and behavioral science to revolutionize human-raptor interactions and deepen understanding of these birds.

Today, TRC is set to host its renowned workshop now split into two opportunities: a virtual session in the spring followed by an in-person event in the fall. 

A person holds a bald eagle in front of a crowd
Ambassador Lois helping to teach a program at TRC's annual Raptor Release event. | Photo by Anthony Baffo

This approach ensures that TRC’s groundbreaking work is accessible to everyone seeking out knowledge and betterment in raptor care.

Sharing expertise not only enhances the lives of ambassador birds but also positions TRC as a leader in the global conservation community, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to the well-being of raptors and the ecosystems they inhabit.

Raptors in this article