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).


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.

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!

Happy Birthday to Us! Introducing our Amazon Wishlist...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!!!!! What a year we have had. We have responded to over 260 calls, and have helped close to 250 birds, in an area expanding to ~90 mile radius surrounding our base in Iowa City!

Want to help us celebrate? We have a list ;) https://www.amazon.com/…/3IEUM9JQ8SNXP/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_ws…

Items on our wishlist range from medical supplies to larger pieces of equipment and tools that would be helpful in our facility. There are quite a few items that are relatively inexpensive, but are very helpful to our patients! If you have Amazon Prime, most of these items ship directly to us at no charge to you. Not all items on the list will allow you to write a note to us in “gift options,” so please send us a message to let us know you purchased a gift for us, so we can properly thank you! PS - Use Amazon Smile to support the RARE Group when you make your purchase :)

If you are interested in supporting The RARE Group in other ways, please take a look at the other posts from this week; you can volunteer to help, buy a bag of birdseed, shop for our firewood at Willow & Stock, register and use Amazon Smile, donate through our Paypal links on our Facebook page or website, or support us by eating at Hudson's on Wednesday, December 6th! We are so grateful for our community of supporters, and for everyone who helps with our mission of Raptor Advocacy, Rehabilitation and Education!!

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.

Release! The Beautiful Bald Eagle

On Sunday, November 27, we celebrated the release of an incredible American Bald Eagle.  The eagle was found by the Goods on October 17 in Clinton County, and was diagnosed with 2 fractures in one wing, and some additional wounds.  It responded well to treatment, and was able to move to the flight cage in early November.  After rest, healing and therapy there for a little more than 3 weeks, it was ready for release.

Our staff at RARE carefully searched out a good release location, and were able to invite the public to attend.  Around 25 people joined us, including the couple who found it.  It was an incredible moment, and we are grateful to all those who support The RARE Group who made it possible.  We've included the video below of Eric and Ellen with the eagle, and the release ... ENJOY!!

[video width="1080" height="1080" mp4="http://theraregroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Bald_Eagle_Nov-_Release_musicedit_encode.mp4"][/video]


RELEASE! Barred Owl Returned to Palisades-Kepler

What an exciting week it has been for The RARE Group!  We have another release to share with you!

This owl was found at Palisades-Kepler State Park shortly before Halloween.  He had head trauma and was having trouble gripping with its feet.  Our RARE volunteers hand-fed him until he could eat on his own.

He was well enough to be transferred to the flight cage around Thanksgiving, and since then, has made great progress.  We returned him to his home on December 9.

Thanks to all who support us and make releases like this possible.

Enjoy this sweet video!

[video width="320" height="240" mp4="http://theraregroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/GHOW-20161209-Palisades-encode.mp4"][/video]

Another RELEASE to Celebrate!

photo by Cari Redondo What better way to spend a frigid, snowy December day than releasing a Great Horned Owl?

This owl's release was certainly cause for celebration, as she was found at the Center Point, Iowa truck plaza off Interstate 380 nearly 3 months ago, on September 14.  She came to us emaciated and demonstrating some neurological issues, possibly as a result of West Nile Virus.

We are so thrilled to share this video of her return to the nature, following her long road to recovery!  Enjoy!

[video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="http://theraregroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/20161208RARE_encode.mp4"][/video]