About SOAR

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.

Our Goals

  • Establish a regional raptor rehabilitation facility to serve western Iowa.
  • Use personal connections with individual, wild animals to bring attention to important natural resource conservation projects and issues.
  • Conserve habitat, conduct needed research, and provide educational opportunities.

Does SOAR allow visitors?

SOAR's mission is three-fold, raptor rehabilitation, raptor education, and raptor research. The facilities of SOAR are designed for the safe and quiet rehabilitation of our feathered patients, i.e. a birdie 'hospital,' and are not suitable for visits. In fact the federal rehabilitation permit SOAR operates under requires that these birds are not on display and we limit human contact and disturbance for the patients' well-being.

SOAR celebrated 20th Anniversary in 2019

Thank you to all who help SOAR celebrate... long-time to new supporters to spouses to those that came from across the ocean to those from near and far! In addition to releasing two American kestrels, two red-tailed hawks, and one 3-year-old bald eagle, we celebrated with pie and ice cream and live music!

SOAR featured on IPBS Iowa Outdoors Episode #305

Iowa Public Television (now IPBS) videographer Chris Gourley (now retired) spent time in the field and at SOAR filming for this segment... Click here to see the segment of the show about SOAR.

soon to be released

SOAR Newsletters

Board of Directors

SOAR is managed by a Board of Directors. SOAR is funded through grants, gifts, donations of supplies and in-kind services, and educational program fees. The current board of directors:

Rosemary Partridge
Terrie Hoefer
Laura Lake

Meet the SOAR Team

SOAR is able to do what it does because of the dedication of many people that volunteer their time or provide their services at a discount.

Kay with peregrine
Kay with eagle

Kay Neumann, Executive Director

Kay is a flurry of activity! She provides the daily care, monitoring, and rehabilitation needs of the patients and care and feeding of the education birds, provides programming to school and adult groups, plus keeping the freezer stocked with food, and doing her least favorite activity -- record-keeping. She makes time to oversee the education and training of high school and college interns as these are our future biologists, rehabilitators, conservation managers, and environmental educators.

Kay has an M.S. in Wildlife Biology and a B.A. in Biology. She has been working in the fields of environmental education, wildlife research, wildlife rehabilitation, and natural resources restoration for more than 25 years. Kay is a master-class rehabilitator and master-class falconer and celebrated her 30th hunting season in 2014.

Kay received the 2014 Ada Hayden Conservation Education Award from the Iowa Association of Naturalists / Iowa Conservation Education Coalition for outstanding efforts for education on preservation, land management, or natural resource conservation.

SOAR was honored with the 2018 Frederic Leopold Award from the Iowa Association of Naturalists / Iowa Conservation Education Coalition for outstanding environmental education efforts by business, industry, or labor.

If you are interested in falconry or becoming a falconer, please visit these links for information as Kay is not able to take on an apprentice at this time:

If you are interested in wildlife rehabilitation, please visit these links for information as Kay is not able to take on additional apprentices at this time.

Cassie and great horned owl

Cassie Wendl

Cassie has been assisting with rehabilitation and rescue / transport since August 2014. Cassie also helps with programming.

Linette & Bella

Linette Bernard

Linette works remotely and maintains the donor database, including being a point of contact for donors, sends out acknowledgements, and tax letters. She also develops printed materials, maintains the website, provides educational programming, and transports patients as needed.

Linette has a M.A. in Youth and Human Services Agency Administration. She has been working in the fields of environmental education, fundraising, youth development, non-profit management, and program quality-assurance.

Terrie & Stella 2015

Terrie Hoefer

Terrie has been a SOAR volunteer since 2004 and was the first webmaster. She has a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology and has worked as an environmental educator presenting programs to children, school teachers, and the general public which is her passion. Her work with education birds dates back to 1988. As her full-time job allows, Terrie helps with programs and transporting patients.

Terrie joined the SOAR Board of Directors in 2020.

Savanna and Thora

Savanna Judson

Savanna is a faculty member in the Biology Department at Des Moines Area Community College. Savanna has a B.S. from Buena Vista University and M.S. from Iowa State University. Savanna helps with programming and transport as able.

Veterinarians

SOAR could not provide quality care to patients and education birds without the help of these veterinarians, their clinics, and support staff that provide consultation, x-rays, medications, and surgery.

Transporters / Rescuers

Thanks to our "go to" rescue and transport crew of Stacey, Ron H., Matt H., Dan T., Shelley, Christina, Jenni, Deb, Marla, Ron A., Cassie, Alex, Wendy, Lisa, Sue, and volunteers from Wildlife Lodge and Clinic for helping to transport or provide overnight care for injured birds to SOAR. County Conservation Board and Iowa Department of Natural Resources staff help, as able, with rescuing and transporting injured birds.

Many others...

So many folks have provided one-time or ongoing help that if we tried to thank them all, we would miss many. Please know that your help and time is truly appreciated!

Past Projects

Required Reporting

As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, SOAR is required to annually file a federal income tax form.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permits that SOAR holds require annual reports be filed for each calendar year on rehabilitation, education, and species propagation activities.