Announcing: Our 2023 Annual Report

Director’s Message

Despite the challenges posed by climate change and avian influenza, we banded a record 81 peregrine falcons this year. We monitor impacts on the peregrine falcon population with pre-nest season surveys, focused banding of young, and follow-up monitoring. We expanded our field research programs this year to collect bodily fluid and blood samples for HPAI analysis by The Raptor Center and Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Monitoring the health and well-being of raptors is challenging in this time of change, but time and careful research will reveal how lasting the effects of HPAI will be and perhaps give us tools to fight it.

Our Golden Eagle monitoring and tracking program expanded in 2023 with the addition of five more eagles wintering in the Driftless area. We have assembled a team to trap and transmit at least four more adult Golden Eagles in 2024. Our Golden Eagle partners have been spending summer in Nunavut, Canada near Hudson Bay and the Northwest Passage! Every day is an exciting day as we learn more about these powerful and mysterious raptors.

I love the wide-ranging coverage of our raptor education programs that span from kindergarten to college students. Our collaborative hands-on raptor monitoring station with Luther College has expanded to the Mississippi River and two stations have provided double the access for training and research, giving high school and college students the unique experience to hold a live raptor, examine and study it, and release it to the wild. In the classroom, our Education-in-Action program is used by teachers across the country and around the globe! Our future leaders in raptor conservation surround us. Each class of students we introduce to life in an eagle nest or the beauty of a buteo moves us along in our goal of
engaging and developing our future conservationists.

We are truly meeting our mission of education, conservation, and research. A heartfelt thanks to our volunteer moderators, cam operators, videographers, partners, and donors. Our live streams, education programs, and research would not be possible without you! Here’s to an exciting year of raptor research and discovery in 2024!

John Howe
Raptor Resource Project Director