Care and Management of Captive Raptors Workshop

Our 2019 workshops are complete, but we will update this page once we have dates set for our 2020 workshops. Please check back. If you would like to get on our mailing list for 2020, we will email you once registration is open: Mailing list

Note: if you are already on the waiting list from 2019, you do not need to sign up for the mailing list. We will reach out to you when available.

care and management

The Raptor Center hosts a four-day Care and Management of Captive Raptors Workshop. The workshop focuses on the primary aspects of managing a collection of raptors used for educational programming. Scroll down for an overview of workshop topics.

This workshop, which takes place once a year, is designed for both novice and experienced professionals caring for and handling raptors used as educational ambassadors.

Highlights include:

  • Hands-on learning with our expert staff in our internationally renowned clinic
  • Handling live education raptors, including an eagle, with highly skilled staff from our education department
  • Learn the scientific principles of behavior and learning for effective training
  • Observe in training action with live demonstrations daily
  • Meet clinic veterinarians, including Dr. Julia Ponder
  • Work with Lori Arent, author of Raptors in Captivity


TBD. In addition to participation in the workshop, the fee includes lunch each day, healthy snacks during breaks, and access to online workshop materials and resources. For participants staying in the conference hotel, a free, daily shuttle service to The Raptor Center and the hotel.

Workshop topics (taken from 2019 workshop, agenda and topics may vary for future workshops):

Day one

Day one

  • Enhance your organization's message through live education animals
  • Introduction to the science of behavior and learning
  • Should I accept this bird or not? Considerations when selecting a rehabilitated bird for education
  • Introduction to animal welfare
  • Training demonstrations
  • Wrap-up Q&A with workshop staff

Day two

Day two

  • Advanced raptor anatomy and physiology (hands-on)
  • Basic raptor medical care (hands-on)
  • Emergency raptor medical care (hands-on)
  • Rats and fish and quail, oh my: raptor diet selection, storage, and preparation
  • Behavioral training techniques for education birds
  • Training demonstrations
  • Wrap-up Q&A with workshop staff

Day three

Day three

  • Education raptor handling 101:­ perching, crating, and transportation (hands-on)
  • Basic exam procedures: restraining raptors, weight assessment and checking foot condition (clinic hands-on)
  • Education raptor housing: a review of specific considerations in design
  • Managing raptor health and well-being: coping/trimming/physical checks for education birds (hands-on)
  • Wrap-up Q&A with workshop staff

Day four

Day four

  • Emergency care skills: basic bandaging, hemostasis, and administering fluids (clinic hands-on)
  • Raptor handling: techniques for handling education raptors in programs, bird escapes, and more
  • Workshop debrief
  • Wrap-up Q&A with workshop staff

Lodging, transportation and evening meals are the responsibility of the participant.  


The conference hotel is the DoubleTree by Hilton, 2540 N. Cleveland Avenue, Roseville, MN 55113.  Phone is 651-636-4567. Group rate for 2020 TBD.


Shuttle service from the hotel to The Raptor Center for each day of the conference is provided. For transportation options from the Minneapolis/St Paul airport to the hotel, click here


  • Cancellations received 6 weeks before the workshop start date: Full tuition refund
  • Cancellations between 2 weeks and 6 weeks before the workshop start date: Subject to a $100 cancellation fee
  • Cancellations 2 weeks before the workshop start date: 50% tuition refund
  • 24 hours or less before workshop start: No refund is available

NOTE: The workshop is subject to cancellation if it does not reach its minimum required enrollment. Participants will be notified of cancellation no later than 30 days before the start of the workshop and will receive a full refund. To assist participants in making airfare and hotel accommodations, workshop confirmation notices will be sent out to all registered participants once the minimum required enrollment has been reached.

For more information about the workshop, contact Mike Billington at 612-624-9750 or