Teton Raptor Center flying high in 2019

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Teton Raptor Center has started 2019 off flying (punny, right?).

First off, TRC begins each new year with its Ambassador Appreciation Night. On Wednesday, January 9, Teton Raptor Center (TRC)’s staff and board gathered to honor 83 community members who have donated over 9,371 hours of time and talent in 2018, to support the Center’s mission of advancing raptor conservation through education, research, and rehabilitation.

TRC’s annual Ambassador Appreciation Night kicked off with a delicious dinner generously donated by Pearl Street Market. The evening continued with a celebration of TRC’s ambassador accomplishments and an award ceremony. In 2018, TRC had 24 volunteers join the rankings of Talon Society, which is achieved by??donating 100 hours within a calendar year.

“Our volunteers are a vital piece in the successes of Teton Raptor Center. They’re contributions to each pillar are noteworthy and humbling,” said Jessie Walters, TRC Raptor Care and Volunteer Coordinator.

TRC makes eco-friendly improvements to grounds

Teton Raptor Center has been working to improve the site’s sewer capabilities. (TRC)

Just before the past year ended, the Raptor Center completed an important step toward a healthy future for Fish Creek with the removal of the leach field at the Moseley/Hardeman Barns in Wilson.

For nearly 80 years, the former cattle operation has been served by a septic system a mere 250 feet from the banks of Fish Creek, allowing nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) to enter the groundwater.  Excess nutrients in the groundwater can lead to well water contamination and contribute to algae and excess plant growth in Fish Creek that negatively impacts fish habitat.

The project began last April with the installation of new sewer lines for existing and proposed structures along with a lift station and pressure line tied-in to the Wilson Sewer. The new system went live in June 2018 with a lift station and pressure line tied-in to the Wilson Sewer. The removal of the defunct leach field in November was the final step.

“It’s not the most glamorous part of our site improvements, but as neighbors and conservationists this is a critical component of our stewardship of this special property,” said Amy McCarthy, Teton Raptor Center’s executive director

Eagle recovers from lead poisoning

Lead poisoned Golden Eagle navigates a landing during test flying while tethered to a hundred-foot lead. (TRC)

And through it all, TRC continues to do the work of its charter. The Center announced this week its excitement at the progress made by its female Golden Eagle. The eagle was admitted for lead poisoning. After two months of rest and chelation therapy, which pulls heavy metals out of the blood, the young eagle is now able to start flight conditioning to regain her strength and endurance.

She is doing well on her test flights (tethered flying of 100 feet maximum using a creance line—a parachord that allows patients to practice until their flight is skilled enough for release. TRC staff says the eagle will be ready for release once she proves she can do this controlled flight 20 times.

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