Guests of St. Paul can visit The Raptor Center at 1920 N Fitch Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108. They are open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm. There is a Raptors of Minnesota public program every Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 am to 2:00 pm. Reservations are not needed for this program. The center is closed on all University of Minnesota holidays or special events.
The Raptor Center began in 1974 and its primary purpose is medical care, rehabilitation and conservation of hawks, eagles, falcons and owls. They treat around 800 birds in a year and they educate close to 200,000 people internationally in that same time period. The funding is mostly from private donations.
The Saturday and Sunday raptor program allows visitors to see a variety of raptors and learn how to share the environment with them. There is also a tour of the Raptor Center and outdoor areas where there are about 30 raptors. The cost of this program is $5.00 per student or senior citizen, $7.50 for adults, children under two are free and for large groups one adult is free for every ten children.
There are opportunities for field trips, service learning projects, outreach presentations as well as internships. Educators have a great resource for teaching school children through The Raptor Center.
Programs can be brought to an individual site such as an assembly or community program. The programs last about an hour and are specialized for the age of the attendees. These outings bring a raptor education specialist, at least three live raptors and other activities for a complete educational program. These outreach programs can be held seven days a week. If a program has three raptors the fee is $275. Four raptors is $375 and will include an eagle.
There are about 482 species of raptors worldwide and they have been around for 50 to 75 million years. The typical raptors that most people are familiar with are: eagles, falcons, hawks, ospreys, barn owls, typical owls, and vultures. However, there are several more that aren't as well known: caracaras, harriers, kites, and secretary birds. Some of the raptors that are endangered are the California condor, Northern Aplomado Falcon, Hawaiian Hawk, Puerto Rico broad winged Hawk, Puerto Rico sharp shinned Hawk, Everglade Snail Kite, and the Pygmy Owl.
Raptors that are in residence at The Raptor Center include: American Kestrels, Bald Eagles, Barn Owl, Barred Owl, Golden Eagle, Great Horned Owl, Marlin, Peregrine Falcon, Red Tailed Hawk, Eastern Screech Owl and Turkey Vulture.
Discovery Trunks are part of the educational guides put together for teachers. They include real feathers, real feet, wings, skulls, and bones. There are activity guides, audiotapes, video tapes, coloring books, posters, books and games. The trunks are age appropriate such as: All About Owls for K-4th grade, Eagle Endeavors for 4-8th grades, Enraptured with Raptors for 4-8th grades, Raptor ER: The Clinic for 1- 8th grades, and Falcons and Falconry for 4-8th grades. The fees for the trunks are $50.00 with an educational program and $70.00 without a program per week.