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Return to the wild: Recovered raptors released last weekend

Gordie Bailey, Jr., a longtime member of the Carpenter Nature Center board, releases a red-tailed hawk. Star Gazette photo by Katrina Styx

The weather wasn’t exactly cooperative for Carpenter Nature Center’s fall raptor release event Saturday, but it didn’t stop hundreds of people from stopping by to see all kinds of birds of prey.

CNC teams up with the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota for the event. The Raptor Center takes in injured wild birds and helps them recover from the injuries. When a bird is fully healed and ready to return to the wild, the Raptor Center brings them to CNC. CNC offers a rich habitat for the birds, which helps them re-establish themselves in the wild.

Not all birds are able to return, however. Some, for various reasons, need to stay in captivity in order to survive. Some of these are also brought to CNC during the raptor release event, but they’re put on display for the public to see up close. Raptor Center and CNC volunteers were on hand to care for the birds and answer questions