Since 1994, RAPTOR Inc. has worked with a licensed bird bander to band the birds we rehabilitate and release back to the wild. A metal band containing a unique number is placed around the leg of the raptor at the time of release. Information about the bird, the date of banding, and the banding location is entered into a national database. If the bird is encountered again, the band number can be used to enter additional information regarding the movement, age and behavior of the bird. The banding process provides indispensable information about many North American avian species. Analysis of this information can direct important governmental conservation and management decisions, and help us evaluate the effectiveness of our rehabilitation techniques.
Those who sponsor a banded raptor will receive a sponsorship certificate detailing the banded raptor’s story, band number, release date, and vital statistics, and a fact sheet containing information about the sponsored species. If the band is recovered the sponsor will be notified of the date and location of the recovery.
If you see a banded bird, we encourage observers to try to photograph the band number. We will report the sighting to the US Geological Survey database if the band is readable.
Give a Behind the Scenes Tour as a Gift
Private “Behind the Scenes” tours of the Raptor Center are available by appointment. Tours include a classroom presentation where you will meet 2 of our Avian Ambassadors up close and learn about their importance to the environment. Then your educator will give you a tour of the facility where you can see our other Avian Ambassadors in their residential habitats, learn about the rehabilitation process, and discuss how you can help protect local birds of prey. These intimate tours last about 1 hour and are great for families or small groups. They can also be adapted to suit your personal interests.