Birds have been residing on this earth for millions of years…. 186 million years to be exact. The Mesozoic Era is known to be the “origin of birds”. Today’s birds evolved from a group of therapod dinosaurs, which include the famed Jurassic Park meat-eating Velociraptors. Current raptors, or birds of prey, have unique characteristics such a hooked beak, superb eyesight, sharp talons and strong legs and feet (eagles, hawks, owls, etc). To protect these raptors and ensure their existence for many more millions of years, Raptor Inc. is a protective habitat dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey through rehabilitation, education and community service.
Raptor Inc. is a Cincinnati hidden gem that is absolutely worth a visit.
Raptor Inc. is located minutes from Interstate 275 in Milford. This non-profit organization rehabilitates over 250 injured or orphaned birds of prey annually; and strives to educate the public about the importance of these raptors and their influence on our environment. On the last Sunday of each month from 1-4 p.m. (March to November), Raptor Inc offers a FREE open house to all ages. My family visited during the March open house; and Raptor Inc. and their friendly/knowledgeable educators made learning about bird of prey fun and extremely interesting for for every member of the group
Besides the main house, Raptor Inc. is outside… so be prepared for all types of weather. We visited on a rainy day, and rain boots and coats ensured we stayed dry and enjoyed the many outdoor exhibits. First, we were immediately welcomed by several staff members; and began our tour of the facility. After reviewing biological artifacts such as the different wings, feet and beaks of each raptor, we listened to an ambassador who held and described several rescue birds of prey. It was amazing to see how each bird quietly perched on the educator’s hand while he discussed their features and lifestyle.
Then we proceeded to the rescue habitats. Again, several educators were on-hand to discuss each bird and how they came to live at Raptor Inc. Many had been injured by the human environment. Others were cast out by their own species; and this organization has helped them to survive. One particular bird captured our hearts….”Earl” the female Turkey Vulture. She imprinted on humans… she thinks she’s a human and therefore will not interact with her own kind. Earl likes to display her long and beautiful wing-span to all the visitors. She loves the attention and truly welcomes you to her home. We tried to meet the American Bald Eagle, but he was being shy… he would hide behind his habitat tree each time a person came by to visit him.
Before we headed into the main house for more activities, my daughter compared her wing span and hand size to several birds of prey. Needless to say, she was of the smaller bird variety. Inside the facility, we enjoyed beverages and snacks, and met the Raptor Inc. owl mascot who is currently looking for a new name. My daughter suggested “Otto the Owl”. On the third floor, once again we were greeted by more friendly and enthusiastic guides sharing more bird knowledge while lots children were coloring raptor pictures. And a reading of Owl Babies was soon to begin for the littlest of visitors.
We really enjoyed my family’s adventure to Raptor Inc. No animal should suffer and so many of their stories touched our hearts. Each bird has a unique personality, and loves their visitors. Raptor Inc. can do their work because of federal grants, donations and the incredible volunteers. For membership information or to donate, please click here. Raptor Inc. has educational programs for children of all ages including on-site scouting, homeschool and school presentations. Finally, don’t forget to visit these birds of prey at the FREE monthly open house events — the next one is April 30th. I highly recommend Raptor Inc. for your family’s next learning experience.Feature image credit: Raptor Inc. Facebook page
Ainslie Gordon is a St. Louis, Missouri native and graduate of the University of Missouri’s Journalism School. Her career has focused on advertising, public relations and event planning. In 2011, Ainslie and her family moved to Cincinnati; and she became a stay-at-mom and founder of the blog, Modhousewife.
Additionally, she was a fashion/trends contributor on Fox 19 and Fox 2. Currently, Ainslie is the Marketing Director for Game On! Fitness. She is also a Girl Scout leader and enjoys volunteering throughout the community.