The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota is a great place to visit for kids and adults.

Alex and Avery had been expressing interest in Eagles, especially after watching the live cam of the Eagle nest in Decorah, Iowa. I was looking for a weekend activity and found the Raptor Center holds educational programs from 1 to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

The building is free to walk around and see some of the birds through windows. Or you can attend a program on the weekends (for a fee). More info at the end of this post.

Red Tailed Hawk

We loved visiting and learned a lot about raptors during the program. There are a number of raptors in Minnesota, such as eagles, owls, falcons, hawks and vultures. We learned the main characteristics of raptors: talons, a very sharp hook beak, and keen eyesight. For example, they can see every wing beat of a hummingbird. And if you left an open book at one end of a football field, a raptor would be able to read the words from the other side of the field (assuming they know how to read, that is).

Great Horned Owl

And our favorite, the Peregrine Falcon. These birds are the fastest animal in the world. Seriously, faster than a cheetah! They also eat other birds and catch them flying in the air.

Bald Eagle
After the program we looked at samples of raptor talons and feathers. We also took a tour of the outdoor area to see more of the birds.
Many raptors come to the Raptor Center because of injuries. These are often treated and released back into the wild. Others are brought to the center because they’ve become an “imprint” — that is, when they are babies, if a human finds them and care for them, the raptors won’t develop the instinct to live on their own. Take a look at these stats they had posted in the center showing how many “patients” they had cared for. It’s quite impressive.
Program info from the web site: The Raptors of Minnesota program is presented from 1 to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday (except holidays and days The Raptor Center is hosting a special event). Meet a variety of live raptors and learn what you can do to help protect the environment we share. Program includes a tour of The Raptor Center and the outdoor housing area, home of 32 education raptors. Openings available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
A team from the Raptor Center also takes raptors on the road to the zoo, schools and other organizations. The description in this post and pictures are entirely my own. I was not compensated in any way to write about them, we paid admission to attend the program.
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5 Responses to “Visiting the Raptor Center in Minnesota”

  1. Heather says:

    I bet you'd all enjoy the National Eagle Center in Wabasha. You could make a day trip out of it. See the Eagle Center, have lunch in Wabasha, then go to Lark Toys in Kellogg and look at the great toys, eat some fudge and salt water taffy and ride on the best hand-carved carousel you've ever seen. It is a work of art.

  2. Marketing Mama says:

    Thanks for the idea Heather, sounds like fun. 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Seems like they're having a lot of fun. I'll try going to National eagle center with my two kids too. It's a good idea. Now I'm thinking about a small birthday for my little Nicholas. Just got this great deal from http://www.dailyminneapolis.com I'm sure he will enjoy it.

  4. […] children loooooooove animals. Adore them. We take trips to the zoo and the raptor center and orchards and farms whenever we can because these children looooove animals. When we go to the […]

  5. K-eal says:

    lol raptrz 3 lyfe



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