Saving Our Avian Resources (SOAR) is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1999 dedicated to saving our avian resources through raptor rehabilitation, education, and research. SOAR maintains all necessary US Fish & Wildlife Service and Iowa DNR permits to provide the rehabilitation and education.

Rehab & Release

SOAR provides care for well over 300 birds each year that have been injured or orphaned, primarily from western Iowa.

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Education

SOAR provides educational programs with non-releasable birds of prey through out Iowa., based on your educational needs and goals.

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Research

Data collected helps with ongoing research to improve rehab techniques, prevent future mortality, and to detect threats to wildlife populations.

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eagle beak

Beak Issues

SOAR has admitted two bald eagles in 2019 that have beak damage. Did you know that like our fingernails, the outer portion of a bird’s beak is made of keratin and is always growing. The keratin covers the bony structure of the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw). The portion of the beak nearest

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D32

Still busy here, a few updates

Some businesses have peak busy times and slow times. The business of wildlife rehabilitation is a constant busy. (long post warning… but you’ll want to read clear to the end) Thirty raptors were admitted to SOAR from 1 September to 4 October 2019. The admits included 9 bald eagles, 3 barred owls, 1 broad-winged hawk,

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eagle-sized bird band

Banding birds vs telemetry

Because of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and associated regulations, all bird banding is done under a Federal Banding and Marking Permit from the US Geological Survey. The permit outlines allowed species and activities (what are you trying to learn), as well as all the individuals allowed to help with that project. All bird banding

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telemetry unit

Releases to help with research

The Midwest Bald Eagle Telemetry Study Bald eagle populations have increased dramatically over the past 30 years across North America. The Upper Midwest, which houses one of the densest populations of bald eagles in North America, has experienced dramatic increases in the number of breeding and wintering eagles since the 1970s.  For example, In 2014,

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tree clearing

Food Storage Building

Construction projects always take longer than anticipated! Progress is being made on the much-needed food storage building at SOAR. The location for the food shed has been cleared of overhanging trees. The location leveled and graveled. A 12′ x 28′ storage building was brought in. The interior insulation and wall covering are about complete! Next

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Change of scenery

The hatch-year 2019 bald eagles in the nursery have moved to the 20’x60’ flight pen! D33, DN9, Allamakee, and Calmar moved on 23 July and can now “start their engines” so to speak. This flight pen is large enough to allow for those necessary short flights that build muscle, stamina, and skill in landing. (Would

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juvenile bald eagle before release

Q&A: raptor admits, releases, and more

When is SOAR going to release the Decorah area eaglets? How does SOAR evaluate patients for release? How do these birds fit back into the environment? First, we should talk about how sick and injured raptors get to SOAR! SOAR receives the injured birds (usually after several phone calls, text messages, and photos to assess

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HY18 bald eagle

Determining Gender in Bald Eagles

As part of ongoing data collection looking at bald eagles and lead exposure in birds admitted to wildlife rehabilitators in Iowa, SOAR started collecting beak depth measurements. A research paper from Garcelon et al (Journal of Wildlife Management 49(3):1985) is the basis for SOAR to use beak depth measurement for a gender determination. The Garcelon

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