Established in 1990, the Medina Raptor Center is now one of Ohio’s leading raptor rehabilitation facilities. We treat over 400 birds each year. Most come to us with human-related injuries, such as motor vehicle collisions, poisoning (often by pesticides), gunshot wounds, and cat attacks. All receive individual attention, appropriate veterinary care, physical therapy, training and conditioning before return to the wild.
MRC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with all the required state and federal licenses. It depends solely on the generosity of our contributors, the donations of services by skilled veterinarians and countless hours provided by our volunteers.
Our purpose is to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured or orphaned birds. We work with songbirds, waterfowl, and specialize in birds of prey. Professional medical treatment is donated by a number of local veterinarians. Our job is to provide the birds with post-treatment care (such as wound management, medications and physical therapy) in order to return them to the wild. This treatment is provided at our small medical facility and through the use of more than 40 cages of various sizes for therapy and flight work. We also utilize falconry equipment and techniques to provide physical conditioning and flight practice for the birds.
We treat over 400 birds and small mammals each year. While the number of West Nile Virus cases dropped from the high of 82 in 2002, other problems such as wing injuries and “orphaned” songbirds more than made up the difference.
Rehabilitation is more than just providing medication to an injured bird. We work with four excellent veterinarians who do X-rays, perform surgeries, and prescribe medication. We provide the daily medication and monitoring at our facility to make sure that the bird is recovering mentally and physically. When a bird no longer requires the close monitoring, it is moved to a recovery cage to allow it room for some limited flying. Before release, we put the bird in a flight cage to see that it has the strength and stamina to fly in the wild. We also condition the bird using live prey to ensure they know how to hunt on their own. In some cases, we use creances to strengthen the birds. Some birds are transferred to a falconer for training.
When all other options for release have been exhausted and if the bird has the disposition of being comfortable around humans, it is placed in training to become a program bird. Becoming an ambassador for its species is a very prestigious position and not taken lightly here at the center. When needed, a master falconer will be brought in to assist in the proper training of both bird and human. Above is a photo of master falconer, Lou Gaeta, handling the center’s American Bald Eagle, Migisi.
Our Educational Outreach program provides a variety of activities and information that can be focused to the needs and desires of many types of groups, including, schools, churches, 4-H, scouting, seniors, libraries, photography clubs and other community groups. We also enjoy a very special partnership with the Medina County Parks system, presenting a number of general programs on birds of prey and several owl walks. Many of our resident educational birds participate in these programs as ambassadors to acquaint guests with birds of prey and the need to protect their habitats.
Interested in arranging a program for your group? Visit our Group Program page to learn more.