The Delaware Valley Raptor Center (DVRC), located in Milford, Pennsylvania, is a private, not-for-profit, tax-exempt state- and federally licensed facility dedicated to the rehabilitation and conservation of birds of prey, including hawks, eagles, owls, falcons and vultures. When one of these avian predators is found orphaned, ill or injured, Streeter and his staff care for them so that they can ultimately be returned to the wild. And through educational programs like this one, people who work with animals at the DVRC share their experienced knowledge of and respect for all wildlife.
A big part of having kids learn about wild animals is familiarizing them with a creature’s needs and habits, and with understanding that, while an abandoned baby owl might be cute and cuddly for awhile, it would not make a good family pet. Rescuing wild animals in need of care is best left to the professionals, because it’s not a sentimental sort of appreciation that they have for animals. Their goal is to restore hurt birds to a state of health and independence so that they are no longer reliant upon humans for survival. That means maintaining as natural a habitat and feeding regimen as possible for birds in their care.
It also means a strict adherence to laws – both natural and governmentally mandated ones – regulating who can administer such care. It’s a matter of safety and well-being for the birds and the caretakers alike. Streeter has a BA in Biology, a Master’s degree in Zoology and more than 30 years’ experience studying and rehabilitating raptors. He directs a staff of three state- and federally licensed rehabilitators who operate the facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Birds in residence at the center have specially designed and constructed enclosures, with both a clinic and isolation unit in-house. Plus, the DVRC has the ability to do its own lab work, drug dosages, immobilization, X-rays and diagnoses, limiting the Center’s dependency on veterinarians to surgery and consultations. As a result, birds admitted at night or weekends receive immediate professional care.
Streeter’s wife Stephanie was a longtime hawk-watcher and bird enthusiast who became the second female falconer in the history of the State of Massachusetts. Through practicing the ancient art of falconry together, the Streeters realized the need for a facility in the region to treat the many injured and abandoned birds that came to their attention over the years. They now train and use live raptors in presentations at schools, camps, scouting events and other groups, hoping to spread the word and engender appreciation for creatures of the wild in kids of all ages.
Close Encounters with Birds of Prey will start at 10:30 a.m. this Saturday. Funded by the Friends of Kingston Library, Inc., all Super Saturdays programs are free. The Kingston Library is located at 55 Franklin Street. Please call (845) 331-0507 for more information. Find out more about the DVRC at www.dvrconline.org. And if you should find an injured, sick or orphaned bird of prey, call (570) 296-6025 or e-mail email@example.com.