What is a Raptor? - "Raptor" is another word for bird of prey: eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, osprey and kites ... hunting birds with keen eyesight and hearing, strong feet with sharp talons for grasping and killing prey, and curved beaks for ripping up their food. Raptors are not the only predators of the bird world, but they are the only ones that hunt with their feet! The word 'raptor' comes from the Latin raptor (plunderer) and the French raptus (to seize and transport). The English words 'rapt,' 'rapture,' or 'enraptured' share these same roots.
Why a Raptor Center? - As predators, raptors play an important role in maintaining the delicate balance of nature. At the top of their food web, they provide a critical early warning system for environmental contaminants or population declines anywhere within that web. Misunderstood and persecuted in the past (and, in some places, the present), raptors are protected by state, federal, and international laws, and are considered a critical factor in the larger ecological picture of which we are all a part.
These birds have specialized dietary, housing, and handling needs - and, as consummate athletes, need to be in top physical condition in order to survive in the wild. CRC was founded to meet the unique needs of these birds and to help humans better understand and appreciate them and their role in the natural order. Our experienced hospital staff care for the sick, injured and orphaned raptors of Lane County (and occasionally beyond) with the goal of returning as many as possible to the wild.