Volunteering at The Raptor Center
Volunteering at The Raptor Center provides avian experience
For many students, The Raptor Center (TRC) provides a rare learning opportunity. Co-founded by CVM Professor Patrick T. Redig in 1974, TRC is internationally known for pioneering and perfecting orthopedic and anesthetic techniques for birds. In addition to treating about 700 eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons a year, staff and volunteers conduct public education programs and events that reach more than 150,000 people annually. In addition to rotations and externships, The Raptor Center provides regular volunteer opportunities for students.
Jessica Goldberg holds a raptor patient as a veterinarian administers fluids.
Jessica Goldberg, a member of the class of 2011, has been volunteering at The Raptor Center since 2007. She works on the clinic crew, cleaning cages, collecting birds for treatments, preparing their food, and feeding birds.
When she applied to The Raptor Center, Goldberg sought a volunteer position providing a unique veterinary experience and a chance to learn new things – and she found what she was looking for. While she initially felt uneasy handling birds of any kind, she now feels confident working with them.
Goldberg credits her colleagues at the center for helping her learn about raptors and the proper way of handling them. She once had the thrill of releasing a rehabilitated American kestrel in Como Park.“It was a very rewarding experience, and one I will never forget,” she says.
After graduation, Goldberg looks forward to working with small animals, from cats and dogs to companion birds and reptiles.
Laura Ayelsworth, another member of the class of 2011, has been volunteering at The Raptor Center for a year and a half. She also works on the clinic crew, preparing food and feeding the birds as well as helping to keep the facilities clean and presentable to the public.
Her interest in zoo veterinary medicine compelled her to seek more experience working with raptors. She also feels that it is important to get involved with the community, and volunteering at The Raptor Center helps her achieve both goals.
Ayelsworth is enthusiastic about the College of Veterinary Medicine program and says she is being well-prepared for a veterinary career at one of the best institutions in the country. She considers the availability of The Raptor Center as a valuable asset to her education.
“I hope that all students at the College have had an opportunity to explore The Raptor Center and learn about what a great service it provides to our community and the wildlife that it helps rehabilitate,” she says.
Laura Ayelsworth prepares food for patient birds in the clinic's kitchen.