(Lander, Wyo.) - Wind River Raptors
is a newly formed
501 c3 organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating birds of prey.
Nathan Barnes, founder and Executive Director of Wind River Raptors, has
been a falconer since 2009 and has been working over the past three years
to establish Wind River Raptors in Lander.
"I enjoy watching and working with raptors," Nate told County 10. "They are
amazing, powerful animals who demand respect and attention. When we get a
bird that we can work with and get back into the landscape, it is a great
feeling of accomplishment."
While studying and researching falconry Nate learned that 85-90% of all
raptors die within their first year of life. When he caught Artimus, his
Red-tailed hawk, she was infested with lice and mites. Nate took her in on
his falconry license, started the training process, and have since become
very successful hunting partners. Without his falconry license though, Nate
would have had to travel 200 miles to the nearest Raptor Recovery Center.
"It was in this moment that I realized I needed to do something locally to
help injured birds," Nate said.
In 2014 the Federal Fish and Wildlife Migratory Bird Treaty Act 50 CFR
21.31 was enacted by the federal government making it more complex to
acquire a raptor rehabilitation license. Nate notes after this law was
passed he saw 80% of bird recovery facilities in Wyoming shut down. Teton
Raptor Center in Wilson and Iron Side in Cody were the only two facilities
in Wyoming that remained open where injured or in-need birds of prey could
go to find proper care so they could be released back into the wild, or
have a permanent home.
"I've always felt compelled to care for the injured, ill and orphaned
birds. And after my experience with Artimus, I quickly realized that I had
the footprint on the Otto ranch near Sinks Canyon to establish a raptor
center which would meet all of the federal requirements," Nate explained.
He's been the Otto's ranch caretaker for the past five years. "The
paperwork took three years alone to complete, but as of February 26, 2016
Wind River Raptors was officially founded as a 501 c3." [image: 0-12.jpg]
*Nate holds Artimus, a Red-tailed Hawk, inside the Raptor Recovery Center.
To Nate's left is one of several muses. *
*The newest member to join Wind River Raptors, a Gyr/Peregrine falcon,
waiting to be named by a sponsor. *
Wind River Raptors currently houses two educational birds, Artimus, a
Red-tailed Hawk and a Gyr/Peregrine falcon who is waiting to be named by a
sponsor. "We're in the process of raising funds to finish building our
facilities for permanent and temporary housing, and to pay for feeding and
care of the birds that come into our care," said Nate. Wind River Raptors
hopes to have 60 rehabilitation birds and 9 educational birds by May 2017.
The non-profit is a three-pronged organization which includes
Rehabilitation, Education and Conservation. "The end goal is always to be
able to release the birds back into the wild," explained Nate. "We always
hope that's possible, but if it's not we can use those birds for
Nate provides educational services regarding birds of prey to individuals,
school groups, and organizations. "Taking our educational ambassadors into
the schools for educational programs and seeing the amazement and wonder in
the children is so rewarding," he explained. "The kids ask questions and
marvel at the beauty and power of these birds. That makes all the years of
training and paperwork worthwhile."
*Nate shows off Artimus to one of the elementary schools in Lander *
"I can't imagine doing anything else," says Nate. "And being able to house
this facility right here in Lander is truly special. The community of
Fremont County and Wyoming as a whole is one of caring and support. We
can't wait to start welcoming in birds."
There are many opportunities for the community to get involved. Click here
to learn more.
#wyostrong #county10 #news #buckrail #reboot #county17 #dally #oilcity