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.

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, an insurance waiver, and an up-to-date tetanus vaccination.
  • Some tasks may require valid driver's license with a good driving record and proof of car insurance.
  • All volunteers are required to attend a new volunteer orientation.

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 trcvol@umn.edu 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: 

Clinic crew volunteers assist staff and veterinarians with the care of injured wild raptors. Clinic volunteers help to prepare food, help maintain healthy environments by cleaning bird’s mews and cages, washing floors and doing laundry. 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 6:30 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: volunteer and ed bird

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, informal 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 mews, 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. Weekday morning volunteer shifts are from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and afternoon shift is from 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. and weekend crews are here in the morning and during building hours 12:00-4:00p.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 independently 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 rooms, mews and assisting staff. Flight crews exercise the birds in the mornings, Mondays, Wednesday-Saturday.

Lobby Assistant: 

Lobby Assistant Volunteers greet visitors to The Raptor Center, assist with organizing walk in tour groups, answer questions from the public, assist with the The Raptor Center gift shop and interactive children’s area and at times assist with administrative and gift shop projects.
Lobby Assistants volunteer during regular building hours, Tuesdays-Sundays

Recycling for Raptors (R4R) Volunteers: 

Recycling for Raptors Volunteers assist the ink jet recycling program in various ways; such as assisting with the organizing and sorting of donated ink cartridges, pick up cartridges at drop off locations through out the metro and out state areas on a quarterly or monthly basis. R4R crew members meet about every 4-6 weeks or more often if needed. This group has been organizing this recycling program for over 10 years! 


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 (at least 6 times during the year). Participation in volunteer orientation and transport training prior to volunteering for The Raptor Center is required.

If this spring is like most, we will see about 120 young raptors that will need our help. 

Please help us help baby raptors by making a special gift to our baby shower fund.  If TRC can raise $20,000 by June 15, TRC board of advisor member Teresa Daly, and husband Greg Konat, will contribute $5,000 to help baby raptors.

Donate now