Ricke was dropped off at a veterinary facility in River Falls, Wisconsin on November 1, 1998. Realizing his injuries needed specialized care, the staff transferred him to The Raptor Center. Upon admission it was apparent that Ricke’s behavior was unusual. He did not hiss and clack at humans as most wild owls do.
Nero, The Raptor Center’s resident education turkey vulture, has played an important role in scientific study and research. Hatched in 1974, he was taken as a nestling by the University of Wisconsin for scientific study. Nero acted as a model for developing wing tags, color markers, and radio-transmitter mounts. This work helped pave the way for the use of similar equipment in the California condor, an endangered species. This type of scientific research can only be completed for very special purposes and requires specific federal and state permits.
This Eastern screech-owl is a permanent resident at The Raptor Center. She was hatched in spring 2008 and was found as a nestling. Unfortunately she was not brought to The Raptor Center quickly enough and became a human-imprinted bird. Due to this, she lost some of her human fear and does not display all the normal screech-owl behaviors that she needs to in order to survive. Therefore she will have to spend the rest of her life in captivity.
Mêstaáe is a Cheyenne word for “spirit of the night/owl” and was chosen from over 800 entry suggestions.
Meadow was found in a large field next to a residence in Ellsworth, Wisconsin, unable to fly. She was given a complete physical exam at The Raptor Center’s clinic, revealing that she suffered from lesions on both her retinas consistent with West Nile virus. In hawk species, this virus often “attacks” the retinas, leaving the birds with compromised vision or complete blindness. In Meadow’s case, she retained vision in her left eye, but is blind in her right eye.
Pi was originally found as a recently fledged youngster on an overpass on the Wisconsin side of the bridge near Wabasha. There was a dead fish near him, but he was thin, dehydrated, and easy to approach. In The Raptor Center’s clinic, it was discovered that he had no physical injuries, but suffered a significant weight loss after no doubt being separated from his parents.
On November 28, 1999, Maxime was transported to The Raptor Center from Moorhead, Minnesota, where she had been discovered alongside a highway. The Moorhead Police Department had received a call from a concerned citizen who had observed the eagle on the ground. As the Moorhead Police Department had suspected, this was a juvenile bald eagle that had yet to develop the white head and tail that adult eagles achieve between their fourth and seventh years. Radiographs showed that the left humeral-ulna joint was dislocated and there were bony changes on the surface of the ulna.
On October 12, 1996, an adult male bald eagle arrived at The Raptor Center from Muskegen Township, Michigan, via Northwest Airlines. The bird had been brought in by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources after he had been grounded due to unknown trauma. Examination by clinic staff combined with descriptions from the bird’s transporter revealed that the eagle had experienced moderate weight loss, could not fly, and was flapping his wings asymmetrically.
Bubo’s disability is due to imprinting by humans. In April 2000, a couple in Edgerton, Minnesota discovered a young owlet in a great horned owl’s nest that had blown down during a recent windstorm. The couple took the bird home and fed him for two weeks.
On February 10, 2005, Boreas was admitted to The Raptor Center’s clinic after being found in a parking ramp in downtown Duluth, Minnesota. The cause of his injury was unknown, but during his physical exam he was found to have substantial ocular damage (eye injuries). After two months of observation and visits with the ophthalmologist, it was determined that Boreas was un-releasable due to his sight deficiency. He was transferred to the education department as a tentative education bird in August 2005.
Artemis’s story is unique to The Raptor Center’s education department. Hatched in 2001, this peregrine falcon was captive bred for falconry, but was not imprinted by humans. She was trained for falconry for three years, but her falconer noticed that she seemed to have an aversion to flying upward and was not proficient at falconry past 200 to 300 feet. Notes suggest a congenital heart problem may have been the cause. In summer 2004, Artemis arrived at The Raptor Center’s education department.