Volunteer Opportunities for Raptor Program this Summer

The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program provides an opportunity for the public to interact and gain hands-on experience with wild raptors. The program is holding a new volunteer orientation from 5-7 p.m. April 6 at the Raptor Center north of Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, 300 West Drake Road. The session is open to the public. Children ages 10-16 and under must be accompanied by an adult for all training sessions.

Volunteers provide medical care to injured birds, hold environmental education presentations and exhibits and participate in facility maintenance, office operations and fundraising. Participants also learn about proper handling techniques, methods of physical therapy necessary to rehabilitate injured raptors and receive information on current environmental concerns.

"This is a great time to join the program because volunteers get to be involved in summer activities including public appearances at local fairs and festivals," said Judy Scherpelz, director of the RMRP.

The RMRP has a structured training program, and volunteers progress through levels of training depending on their interests, abilities and availability. Volunteers are trained in the most efficient and safest ways to handle potentially dangerous birds. All levels of training emphasize interpretation of bird behavior, overall health and how to handle potential emergency situations.

Training ranges from how to safely feed birds, how to handle permanently disabled educational birds and how to care for injured birds of prey.

The RMRP, a non-profit organization of community and university volunteers, has been dedicated to rehabilitating injured birds of prey and providing environmental education to the public since 1979.

To reserve a space, call (970) 297-0398. For more information, visit the RMRP’s Web site at www.RMRP.org.