There are very few places to see wild things up close and have them still be wild. Zoos are primarily build for those that come to see the animals. Camping will get you close. A hike in a wildlife management area at dawn will get you closer. But camping and hiking take some prep and planning to do. Going to the Raptor Trust, you can see the wild birds without much planning or prep. Their mission is “To provide free care and assistance to injured, sick, or orphaned wild birds. To educate people about wild birds, especially birds of prey. To provide a humane example for others.”
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the summer and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the winter, the trust is home to a large collection of various birds of prey. Many of the residents are non-releasable, having been injured and recovered but not recovered enough to be released. A few of the residents, having a calm temperament to handle crowds, are selected and trained as educational birds and visit schools in New Jersey. In the back area, not open to the public, the trust does its best to rehabilitate and release every possible bird back into the wild.
Visit and see a snowy owl, Eastern screech owls, a sweet 27-year-old barn owl, barred owls, bald eagles, several hawks, including broadwinged and red tailed, vultures, as well as ravens and robins.
The trust offers talks and walks, some with a resident bird up close. Check out their calendar here.
But it’s not only raptors, which include hawks, falcons, eagles and owls, the trust cares for any bird brought to it for care. In May, which is baby bird season, the trust gets the bulk of the approximately 5,000 birds it cares for over the year. Find an injured or orphaned bird and you’re not sure what to do – click here.
The Raptor Trust all this work on donations. Come out to the Stirling Hotel on May 20th to Rock Out With the Raptor Trust – live music and a live birds, craft beers, community partners and silent auction to support the work they do.