The Cornell Raptor Program is engaged in both formal classroom instruction and a more flexible undergraduate volunteer program. Both pathways provide education on the care and management of captive raptors and broader information on the natural history and conservation of birds of prey. Our non-releasable resident raptors provide a unique hands-on opportunity for student learning.
The volunteer program allows students the flexibility of determining their level of engagement in time commitment and activities. Everyone assists in the routine health care and feeding of the raptors and aviary cleaning and maintenance during our Saturday workdays and learns safe and proper handling of raptors. Students share responsibility with the program director in their progression through the program based on their own comfort level coupled with their increased experience level and commitment. They have options to participate in public education programs and to become involved with undergraduate research. Select students demonstrating leadership, initiative, commitment, and excellence in animal handling are selected to serve as student supervisors and education coordinators.
A one credit hour course on the taxonomy, natural history, care, maintenance, and captive breeding of psittacines (parrots and related species) will be offered by the Department of Animal Science during the Fall Semester (ANSC 2150, Exotic Avian Husbandry and Captive Propagation).
In the past this course has offered a second credit hour focusing on birds of prey, and may be included in the future.