The Raptor Center depends on the hard work and generous time commitment of more than 300 volunteers.
Hours volunteered count toward meeting the requirements of the Minnesota Master Naturalist program.
Volunteers can now log their hours directly to a database (volunteer login required).
General requirements for The Raptor Center volunteers
- Must be 18 years of age or older (some special event volunteers may be 12-17 years old, if supervised).
- Must be willing to commit to a regular schedule (typically 4 hours once a week) for a one-year period on an assigned crew.
- Most crews require health insurance and an up-to-date tetanus vaccination.
- Some tasks may require a valid driver's license with a good driving record and proof of car insurance.
- All volunteers are required to attend a new volunteer orientation once placed on a volunteer team.
How to become a volunteer
Once you have looked at the general requirements and the various volunteer opportunities to identify your interest, contact our volunteer information email at [email protected] with your area of interest and availability. Please understand that we receive a high volume of inquiries and we will respond as soon as possible.
Volunteer orientations take place throughout the year. As vacancies occur, we contact applicants for a phone and in-person interview.
The Raptor Center volunteer opportunities
Clinic Crew volunteers assist staff and veterinarians with the care of injured wild raptors. Clinic volunteers help by preparing food and providing prescribed medications, maintaining healthy environments by cleaning enclosures, and assisting clinic staff. Volunteers work with a team at an assigned time each week. Weekday morning volunteer shifts are from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and afternoon shift begins at 3:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Weekend volunteer crews are present from 8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and afternoon crews begin at 3:30 p.m.
Education volunteers present The Raptor Center’s mission to the public by leading tours and teaching the public about raptors and their role in the environment. Education duties could include greeting the public, providing tours, and assisting with various education and interpretive projects. This includes the care and maintenance of the education raptors and could include the following: food preparation, cleaning of outdoor and indoor enclosures, and/or equipment care. Education volunteers will receive training by The Raptor Center interpretive naturalists and will continue to be given training to improve their raptor knowledge. Volunteers work with a team at an assigned time each week. Morning volunteer shifts are from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and afternoon shift is from 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Volunteers on Flight Crew help with the physical conditioning of recovering raptor patients by exercising the birds and assessing their abilities as they regain their flight skills. Volunteers often work in teams with fellow volunteers to exercise birds. Volunteers sometimes walk up to 2 miles per day while volunteering. When not exercising raptors, crew members help with maintaining a healthy environment by cleaning flight enclosures and assisting staff with other tasks as needed. Flight crews exercise the birds in the mornings, Mondays and then Wednesday-Saturday. Each day has a different flight crew, with 5 teams total.
Summer tour guide
Mid-May through August
Weekdays 8:30-12:30 and 12-4:00 shifts
The Summer Tour Guide Education Volunteer is a short-term position for college students or recent graduates. The position runs from mid-May through August. We ask for an 8-hour commitment each week during the spring/summer season. This position is only available during the weekdays. Volunteering can be completed on the same day or spread out over two days. Volunteers will work with volunteer naturalists and interpretive naturalists. Duties could include greeting the public, providing tours, and assisting with various education and interpretive projects. This includes the care and maintenance of TRC's education raptors, including the following: food preparation, cleaning of outdoor and indoor enclosures, and/or equipment care.
Transport volunteers assist with the transporting of injured/sick raptors from a variety of locations throughout the state to The Raptor Center for medical treatment. Transport volunteers must have a valid driver’s license, a good driving record, current auto insurance, and access to a vehicle. Volunteers must be able to do minimal lifting of travel crates and will commit to volunteering with transport for a period of 1 year. Participation in volunteer orientation and transport training prior to volunteering for The Raptor Center is required.