Educational Ambassadors are birds who have come into the center with injuries too severe to be released into the wild. These are very special birds that have shown us they can be around humans without being too frightened. It is not every bird that can handle this. The RMRP evaluates each potential educational ambassador candidate carefully to make sure they will have a good quality of life during their time in captivity. Their well-being is paramount.
They spend their days as "teaching assistants," teaching thousands of people a year about raptors. Educational Ambassadors travel to schools, libraries, community events and more to share their stories and inspire the community. Check back weekly as we feature a new Educational Ambassador on this page every Wednesday.
Our female Swainson's Hawk, who has been with us since 1991, is nearly royalty. She came to us after being found on the ground in Arapaho Wildlife Refuge near Waldon, CO, as a first year bird. Most likely she had been hit by a car. She sustained a fracture of the right metacarpus (wrist and hand areas) and had a head tilt (known as torticollis). Through rehabilitation, the head tilt resolved. Unfortunately the fracture in her metacarpus left her non-flighted. To read more about this bird please, please click full biography.
Our educational male American Kestrel is smaller than most males. This is because he contracted West Nile Virus when he was still in the nest in 2012. This caused stunting of his growth and residual neurological issues that make it so he is not able to recognize prey in the wild. To read more about this bird, please click full biography.
Beautiful, Bold, Boisterous? Yes, all of these are words that can be used to describe the RMRP’s educational Bald Eagle. Many Fort Collins residents have come to know this bird who has been in residence at the CSU Environmental Learning Center for a decade. She has been known to chortle (a loud vocalization) at her caretakers and people that visit her regularly. Nothing sounds as beautiful as a Bald Eagle greeting in the morning. To read more about this bird, please click full biography.
This bird came to the RMRP in 2012 after he was witnessed falling out of a tree in Casper, Wyoming. When he arrived at the center, he was close to death. He was unable to move his legs or see, was very lethargic, and seemed close to death. Each day, with supportive care, he became stronger and began slowly recovering from his head trauma. To read more about this bird, please click full biography.
In 2007, this Eastern Screech Owl suffered an impact injury that broke his upper beak (creating a misalignment) and affected his vision in both eyes. He was in adult plumage when injured so we don’t know his age. He became a part of the RMRP educational program in 2009 when he was transferred to RMRP from Auburn Alabama University's Raptor Center. To read more about this bird, please click full biography.
In August of 1997, this hawk was found in Cheyenne, WY as an immature bird. He was admitted to our facility with severe head trauma and permanent damage to his left eye and ear. His injuries were probably caused when he collided with a vehicle. Because of the vision deficit in the left eye, this hawk is unable to hunt well enough to be released. The eye has since deflated. To read more about this bird, please click full biography.
This Red-tailed Hawk was found on the side of I-25 near Fort Collins in 1999. He had sustained a fractured right clavicle & coracoid (shoulder area) and head trauma, which impaired the vision in his left eye. Because of this impaired vision, he could not be released. To read more about this bird, please click full biography.
This Great Horned Owl came to us in August 2006 as an immature bird. She was found in Wellington, Colorado with a fracture of the left humerus(upper wing bone) near the shoulder. Despite surgery, the bone did not heal in the correct position for her to fly straight. Thus she became an educational ambassador. To read more about this bird, please click full biography.
This Rough-Legged Hawk was originally an Educational Ambassador for the Laramie Raptor Refuge. He was admitted in 2002 as a first year bird with severe head trauma probably due to being hit by car. His injuries prevent him from surviving in the wild. He was transferred to the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program in 2010 when the Laramie Raptor Refuge closed. To learn more about this bird please click full biography.
Injured in Northern Wyoming, this bird was transferred to the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program from the Teton Raptor Center in December 2011. She had a broken right ulna (lower wing bone) that healed in an over-riding fashion preventing flight. She was hatched in 2011. Over the following year we got to watch her gradually molt in her adult plumage. To learn more about this bird please click full biography.
This bird came to the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program in August 2003. She was emaciated and showed neurological symptoms that were diagnosed as West Nile Virus. The encephalitis (brain swelling) caused by West Nile Virus has left her with a neurological deficit that means she is missing some of the appropriate behaviors needed to survive in the wild. To learn more about this bird please click full biography.
Mid-winter 1988, this Turkey Vulture was found on the ground in Northern Colorado. Diagnostics revealed that he had an old, healed fracture of the left wrist and severe arthritis, which is often associated with old fractures. This gives him a wing droop and makes it so that he cannot fly more than short distances. To learn more about this bird please click full biography.
This Red-tailed Hawk came to the RMRP in 2010 from Snyder on the eastern plains of Colorado. He was a young bird just learning to fly when he was injured. He had a broken right humerus (upper wing bone) and broken left ulna (lower wing bone). To learn more about this bird please click full biography.
is Northern Goshawk was injured in February 2009 as a sub-adult. Found in Kersey, Colorado, he had severe head trauma and a fractured right humerus (upper wing bone). The head trauma left him with vision deficits making him non-releasable. In 2010 he molted into adult feather plumage and his eye color changed to the adult colored red. To learn more about this bird please click full biography.
After being found tangled in garden netting in New Mexico in 2017, this Western Screech Owl was rescued by On a Wing and a Prayer. Her right leg was caught pretty badly in the netting, and she ended up with severe damage to her leg and toes, and even lost a couple of her talons. To learn more about this bird please click full biography.