Raptors of Iowa Program and Fundraiser at Leash on Life - North Liberty

Come meet the educational birds of The RARE Group! In addition to the program, Leash on Life will be accepting AND MATCHING(!!) donations (up to $500 total) for a new housing structure for these beautiful educational birds!! Come and learn about the birds and their special place in our environment!

We Need Your Help! Build a new space for our education birds!

RARE would like to build a flight cage for our education birds!   RARE currently provides continuing care for four raptors that are non-releasable, due to physical limitations that would inhibit their ability to survive in the wild.  These birds now enjoy life at our RARE facility, and occasionally, they go "on tour" in order to educate the public about raptors and their important part in the environment.  Our proposed flight cage will provide a significant improvement to their quality of life, by giving them additional living area.  We have set up a Go Fund Me page to raise the money needed for this new space.  Please consider supporting the "stars" of RARE!

https://www.gofundme.com/flight-cage-for-education-birds

 Photos by Nikki Herbst

Upcoming RARE Events!

The RARE Group will be out and about!! Some important dates:

May 27th - Deadline for art to be submitted to "For the Birds," a juried bird-themed small-works art exhibition, sponsored by Blick Art Materials, in conjunction with Iowa Arts Festival (June 1-3).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BinetSUAD1Q/?taken-by=blick_iowacity

June 1-3 - "For the Birds" art exhibit, sponsored by Blick Art Materials.

June 3 - Live Raptor Presentation at Blick Art Materials - come sketch, draw and paint as you learn more about these birds!  10am.

June 3 - "Paws for a Cause" Annual Dog Extravaganza at Thornberry Off-Leash Dog Park - The RARE Group will have an information booth.  Come see us!  12-3pm.

June 10 - "For the Birds" Dine Out, sponsored by 2 Dogs Pub!  Tell your server that you are with The RARE Group!!  More information on the link!!

June 16 - Raptors of Iowa Presentation at the Iowa County Outdoor Adventure at the Lake Iowa Nature Center in Ladora.  Program starts at 1 pm.

June 20 - Raptors of Iowa Presentation at Marion Public Library at 1 pm.

Blick Sponsors "For the Birds" Art Exhibit in Support of RARE

The RARE Group is honored and excited to announce a special opportunity from Blick Art Materials! Blick will be holding a juried bird-themed small-works art exhibition in conjunction with Iowa Arts Fest, June 1-3. Please see the attached (awesome) poster for more details. Entries must be submitted by May 27. A portion of the sales from the exhibition will be donated to RARE. Stay tuned for more details!!

RARE Congratulates New Wildlife Rehabilitators

The RARE Group is excited to announce that four of our volunteers have received their  general wildlife rehabilitator licenses!  Ellen Dice, Lisa Dreesman, Luke Hart, and Eric Kahl were apprenticed by fellow RARE member, Jodeane Cancilla.

The first step in getting their general wildlife rehabilitation permit was to apply for their apprenticeship rehabilitation license.  Once they received their apprenticeship license, they spent one year learning under master rehabilitator, Jodeane.  Once the year was complete, they applied for the general permit by writing a narrative detailing why they want to work with wildlife, their experience with animal care and written examples of their care procedures.  Each applicant also needed to have a letter of recommendation written by their master rehabilitator.

Jodeane, a master wildlife rehabilitator, started doing wildlife rehabilitation in the 1980s. At the time, permits had to be issued by Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Unfortunately there were not a lot of other rehabilitators in the state or national organizations to learn from. Those who were doing rehab networked and bounced ideas and treatments off of each other, sharing successes as well as failures in our attempt to give the best care possible to their patients. Gradually, Wildlife Rehabilitation was recognized by the IDNR and USFWS as a profession (mostly unpaid). It was during these early years that guidelines were established for standardized care and uniform licensing.

In order for wildlife rehabilitation to continue, Jodeane believes current master rehabilitators have an obligation to mentor the next generation of wildlife rehabilitators. Ideally, wildlife rehabilitators will be paid for the time, effort and personal expense that goes into the high quality of care given to Iowa’s wild creatures by these dedicated individuals.

Please join us in congratulating and welcoming Lisa Dreesman, Ellen Dice, Eric Kahl and Luke Hart to the profession of wildlife rehabilitation!

photos by Nikki Herbst

Come and See RARE! Upcoming Events

There are many exciting events coming up for The RARE Group!  Want to stay up-to-date on where we will be?  Make sure you follow our Facebook page, and look for our events!

Coming up:

Saturday, January 20 - The 6th Annual Eagle Watch and Expo - North Liberty, Iowa RARE will be set up at Liberty High School in the exhibition hall.

Saturday, February 10 - Eagle Watch and Cabin Fever Day - Guttenburg, Iowa RARE will present a live raptor program.

Thursday, March 1 - Prairie Preview XXXV - Iowa City, Iowa RARE will have a table - come and visit us!

Saturday, March 3 - Live Raptor Program at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area - Bloomfield, Iowa Come meet a couple of our education birds at Wapello County Conservation's "Owl Day."

and... this is THE BIG ONE ...

Saturday, March 17 - The RARE Expo 2018! Live raptor presentations, face painting, coloring and activities, trivia ... so much fun to be had!

We hope you can make it to some of these wonderful, educational events!

Co-Founder of The RARE Group is Co-Author of Lead Poisoning in Bald Eagles Research Paper

Jodeane Cancilla (right), along with Dr. Lacey Slutts, works with a bald eagle. Photo by Nikki Herbst Dear RARE supporters, we thought you'd like to know that Jodeane Cancilla, a co-founder of The RARE Group, along with several other authors, has published "Lead Poisoning in Bald Eagles Admitted to Wildlife Rehabilitation Facilities in Iowa, 2004-2014."  The article is published in the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management.  You can read the article here.

The research paper, by tracking 10 years of data taken from bald eagles under the care of wildlife rehabilitators in Iowa, highlights the threat to the environment caused by the use of lead in bullets, fishing lures and sinkers.  Lead alternatives are available, such as steel, bismuth and other non-toxic materials.

Jodeane was a perfect person to co-author this study. She began working as a wildlife rehabilitator in 1987, when wildlife rehabilitation was a relatively new profession. Much was unknown about how to care for, house or feed wild animals. One thing they did have was a network that allowed them to work through issues with those facing similar challenges in Iowa. Early on, there were no real regulations for wildlife rehabilitators. Several people from the early days worked with both the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and United States Fish and Wildlife Service to draft comprehensive guidelines that gave conservation officers and rehabilitators a common set of criteria that aided in the capture, care and safe release of wildlife across the state of Iowa. In the late 1990s, many of this same group of people began to notice an increase in bald eagles being brought into their care. Gradually, the pieces started coming together. They saw an increase in birds having significant problems in December, January and February. They were presenting in similar condition, with head tremors, blindness, inability to fly or stand, and they were unable to keep down food. It was affecting older eagles as well as young. The group started really concentrating on the x-rays and blood work, and eventually came to the conclusion that lead poisoning was causing the eagle's problems. In 2004, rehabilitators in Iowa began an independent comprehensive study to document these findings. It was an uphill battle. “Nevertheless they persisted,” and in December of 2017 the combined efforts of the team lead to the article being published in The Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management!

Jodeane would like to extend many thanks to all who have helped with this study.  They have contributed to a better understanding of the role we play in becoming better stewards of the land, air and waterways on which we depend.

If you hunt or fish using materials produced with lead, please consider making the choice to go lead-free, and encouraging others to do the same.  Thank you for supporting our efforts!