#GivingTuesday; Highlighting the Dangers of Fishing Line

This #GivingTuesday, we humbly ask that you would consider donating to The RARE Group using the "Donate" button on our Facebook page or on our website. Our group is staffed entirely by volunteers, so 100% of your donation goes toward our mission of advocacy, rehabilitation and education. Our average cost per raptor is approximately $130/year, which is an increase from last year because it was our first full year that we paid for dedicated space to house and treat raptors and other birds.

Part of the mission you support with your donation is education. The attached photograph is a barred owl who is currently in our care - it was caught in fishing line. Two of his feathers became entangled in a single piece of fishing line that was hanging from a branch. He has a lot of wounds and injuries, but we will hope for the best.

We want to remind people to PLEASE PICK UP fishing line; please cut it down when you get it caught in a tree, please paddle over to a snag that it is caught in, etc. If you see fishing line when you are outdoors, please take the initiative and remove it. Some areas have receptacles especially for fishing line, but if there is none, please take it down and cut it into small pieces that animals can not become tangled in before disposing of it.

Please share this information with your friends and family, and help make the outdoors safer for our wildlife. Thank You!

Black Friday - Birdseed For Sale!


Happy Black Friday!

As you are making your list and checking it twice, do you have any bird lovers to buy for?

We have an amazing deal for you! 40-lb bags of premium bird seed for only $25 - and the proceeds benefit The RARE Group! Give us a call at (319) 248-9770 or send us an email at help@theraregroup.org to get your order in!

Our Fun Fact for Friday... did you know that The RARE Group not only helps raptors, we also help songbirds, water fowl and other birds? In 2017, we assisted 88 non-raptors!! Photos by Nikki Herbst

Thanks Giving. Day 1 of RARE's Birthday Bash!

Thanks Giving. We are thankful to be celebrating our second anniversary in one week! We will be highlighting a different aspect of The RARE Group every day this week. Today, we would like to say THANK YOU to our 28 AMAZING volunteers! There are NO paid staff members. We estimate that as a group, we have invested over 3,500 hours in 2017 to helping raptors and other birds! We have people who help in many different ways - are you interested in joining us? Find out more here: http://theraregroup.org/you-can-he…/volunteer-opportunities/ Please "stay tuned" this week for more fun facts, as we celebrate!! Photos by our awesome volunteer photographer, Nikki Herbst!

Our New Anesthesia Machine!

Earlier this year, with the help and support of Sonja Hadenfeldt, Michele and Ben Nigg, and Deb Coleman, The RARE Group was able to purchase an anesthesia machine from Vetamac.  This piece of equipment allows trained RARE volunteers to anesthetize birds, so they can better perform examinations and physical therapy on birds with fractures, or who are experiencing pain.  It is also used for surgeries.  We are grateful to have this equipment, which allows us to perform these necessary medical tasks with less stress on our patients.  Thank you to all involved!

RARE News: RARE Receives Grant from McIntyre Foundation

The RARE Group is grateful to announce that it has received a $2,500 grant from the McIntyre Foundation. The grant will be used to carry out RARE's mission, with an emphasis on education. The RARE Group, established in 2015, provides support for over 150 birds a year (primarily raptors), as well as providing educational programs for the public.

Educational Opportunity - Raptor Pellets For Sale!!

Photo by Nikki Herbst Raptor pellets ... basically, they are the leftovers of what the raptors ate in a given day, in a neat little package.  They are full of fur, bones ... etc. While some people may put this into the "yuck!" category, others will find it a fascinating learning opportunity. If you have a scout group, science class, or other inquisitive minds, we can help you have the unique experience of investigating raptor pellets!

The pellets sell for $0.75 each, plus shipping (if applicable). Send us a message with your contact information and address to help@theraregroup.org, or call us at (319) 248-9770 between 8 AM and 6 PM.

Photo by Nikki Herbst



Release: Sending a Seagull On Its Way!

Ring Billed Gull by Michele Nigg This Saturday, RARE was able to release a Ring-billed Gull!  This bird, likely on its migration journey, was found in a park near Shueyville.  It was unable to walk or stand.  It rapidly improved after being treated with medication.  Enjoy the video below of the gull enjoying a snack during its time with us!

[video width="320" height="240" mp4="http://theraregroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/IMG_1187.MOV.mp4"][/video]

Thanks to Michele for the photo and video, and for releasing this bird!


It's a Release Double-Header!!

Barred Owl release This week, we had double the fun!

Double Header Part I:

The barred owl pictured below came to us on September 21st with a head injury- it may have been hit by a car.  We would like to thank Sam Warner for finding the bird and getting RARE involved!  After treatment and rest at our clinic, it transitioned to our flight cage early in the second week of October. 

Barred Owl release!

This week, Hannah Clark was able to release this beautiful bird. Hannah is a second year veterinary technician student from Burlington.

Photos by Hannah Clark

Double Header Part II:

The barred owl pictured below came to us right at the end of September, after being found by a construction worker at a site in Iowa City. After being evaluated, the owl was treated with medicine and rest. He was able to graduate to the flight cage after about 10 days.  We are excited that we were able to release him back to nature this week!

Bon Voyage!

Our raptor rehab volunteer, Eric, opening the box to release the owl.

The barred owl is on its way!

Photos by Erin Melloy

Our New Space

We have been busy this summer readying our new space! We first announced our new clinic area in this blog post.  We are excited to share with you some photos of the space in progress and near completion!

Many thanks to all the volunteers and donors who made this happen!

Our first photo is early on, during the construction phase.  We had asked for an extension wall of the restroom for a "storage area" for the washer/dryer and oversized utility tub, which were incredible in-kind donations.  The utility tub is just the right size for washing raptors.


The cages are cleaned, caulked and getting placed.  Thank you to Cindy Burke for her generous in-kind donation of all our current cages.


Beginning work on the movable walls!



Below is a photo of two of our dedicated volunteers, Pat and Enid.  This image was taken after cutting the insulation foam boards for inside the walls.   We are so grateful for their help!

(If you are interested in getting hands-on with RARE, check out our volunteer opportunities!)


The office is coming along, with the help of items that we purchased, items that were donated and also in-kind donations.  A big shout-out to General Mills for the in-kind donation of our printer/scanner/copier/fax machine!

(Check out our web page - we are still looking for some items. Who knows?  You may have something you'd like to get rid of that we need!  We maintain a list of in-kind donation needs here.)


This is our rehabilitation and rest area for our raptors prior to going to the flight cages.  In this photo, the cages are complete, with protectors installed.


Whew!  We are very excited to have our new clinic up and running - we have been able to hold meetings here and have a number of raptors in-house.

In addition to the in-kind donations and the support of volunteers, we are grateful for your financial support.  You can donate directly using our PayPal account, or support us by using Amazon Smile (more details HERE).  Stay tuned for other opportunities in the weeks ahead!

Thank you again for your support!


-Thanks to Erin for the photos!