The Teton Raptor Center is technically located in Wilson, Wyoming, a town barely outside of Jackson Hole. Rescuing injured and ill birds of prey in the Wyoming and Idaho area is the center’s focus, while they also educate, research and rehabilitate.
Up Close Education
Sometimes, even with the best care, some raptors never become healthy or well enough to return to the wild. They have a forever home with the Teton Raptor Center. Ten resident raptors still have a day job, and that’s assisting with education programs at their Wilson center, or other places around the area. Becky Collier works with the resident birds and several volunteers to deliver over 360 live raptor education programs for 18,156 participants throughout the year.
While we were in Jackson Hole, the education team stopped by the visitors center. We happened to already be there after taking a sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge. Volunteers were presenting different resident birds to the crowd of people huddled around each demonstration. Visitors get to learn about raptors up close; when kids and adults encounter animals in person, they can gain a deeper understanding in an exciting way. You can’t touch them, but you can get a very close look.
Meet the Raptors
We met two of the raptors at the visitors center. Manzana is a barn owl who was rescued in 2015. While she quickly regained her strength, it was discovered that she was completely deaf. Her name means “apple” in Spanish, and barn owls are often referred to as “apple faced” owls. She calmly sat on a volunteer’s arm outside the visitor center’s entrance, happily posing for pictures.
Rayne is an Eastern Screech Owl who came from Alabama in 2016. Some type of collision caused trauma to her head, leaving her blind in the left eye. She’s named after two prominent Jackson Hole conservationists. Rayne is adorably tiny and has a curious way of titling her head to take a peek at onlookers. You’ll melt when you see her; she’s the cutest owl ever.
A Meaningful Travel Activity
Stop by the Teton Raptor Center in Wilson if you are ever in the Jackson Hole area. It’s a meaningful way to teach you and your family about the importance of conservation and wildlife. Next time we go back, I want to actually go to the center.
You can donate to the Teton Raptor Center’s efforts, such as the Poo-Poo project, by going to their site. Just so you know, the Poo-Poo project is an effort to protect birds from getting stuck in vault toilets on public lands! Do something meaningful on your next trip.