Education

Educational Programs

Live bird presentations are effective educational tools that make lasting impressions on any audience. SOAR maintains all necessary US Fish & Wildlife Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources permits for educational programming.

SOAR's goal is to return all birds to the wild. Unfortunately, that is not always possible because of the severity of the illness or injury. These birds may become part of the 'educational ambassador team' here at SOAR. The SOAR Ambassador Team includes species of owls, hawks, falcons, and bald eagles.

SOAR programs stress our mission of raptor rehabilitation, education, and research and are adaptable to any age audience indoors or out. SOAR can provide educational programming throughout Iowa thanks to our network of experienced environmental educators.

Topics of programs include:

  • Raptor biology,
  • Predator and prey relationships,
  • Habitat conservation,
  • Endangered species,
  • Pesticides in the environment, and
  • Natural resource issues

Scheduling a Program

For all program locations, please email Linette to check for availability and requested program donation.

All program donations are used to support the rehabilitation of patients and care of our education birds. Our requested program donation is dependent on the number of birds and length of program. Round-trip mileage charges will be added for any distance beyond 80 miles one-way from SOAR.

You are encouraged to look to your local service organizations and businesses to help sponsor your program. If you are still having difficulty with the requested program donation, please contact us to discuss other options.

Requested donation can be negotiated if your request does not fall into one of these options.

Program Donations

Public events, fairs, and festivals with a booth / walk-by setting
One (1) raptor, no eagle, 3-4 hours$225
2-3 raptors, no eagle, 3-4 hours$375
One (1) eagle, 3-4 hours$475
For each hour beyond 4, add$125
Programs for your group, organization, or business
One (1) owl, hawk, or falcon, 1-2 hours$225
2-3 raptors (hawk, owl, and/or falcon), no eagle, 1-2 hours$275
One (1) eagle, 1-2 hours
**Travel of more than two hours with a bald eagle is considered a special request. Please email Linette for any special request.
$375
School environmental education programs -- at school or field trip
1 presentation with 1-2 raptors, no eagle$275
2-6 presentations with 1-2 raptors$375
Presentation(s) with one (1) eagle$375
Virtual Program
1-2 raptors for up to 45 minutes$60

Please note: Round trip mileage charge will be added to our invoice, at the rate set by the IRS, for those program locations that are more than 80 miles one-way from SOAR. That rate is set by the IRS late in the prior calendar year. 2024 IRS standard mileage rate is 0.67 cents per mile.

**This rate will be applied to all programs scheduled on or after May 9, 2022.

Ex: Program location is 100 miles from SOAR. Mileage charge would be, 100 - 80 = 20 x 2 = 40 round-trip miles, 40 x 0.67 = $26.80.

Rocky

SOAR bald eagles on display at Swan Lake State Park!

SOAR has two bald eagles on display at Swan Lake State Park. One of those eagles, Linn, is at least 23 years old, but could be older. For reference, the average bald eagle life span is 15-25 years, with the oldest recorded bald eagle being 38 years old, based on bird banding data. Linn started showing age-related difficulties and after a check-up with the veterinarian, it has been decided to retire her from life as an education display raptor. Linn will continue to live out her life at the SOAR facility.

Rocky, pictured here, is a non-releasable bald eagle that has taken Linn’s place. Rocky was found in Rock Valley (Sioux County, IA) on the ground in 2016 as a hatch-year bird and sustained injuries to his leg and shoulder. While Rocky’s leg injury resolved, his shoulder injury did not heal to allow full extension of the wing. Now Rocky is almost eight years old and is sporting his adult plumage.

Storm and Rocky will be housed together in the eagle pen at Swan Lake State Park. You are welcome to visit them anytime when the park is open. Here is a Google Map link to the park.

Linn was admitted from the Linn Grove (IA) area and was likely the female from the nest by the dam outside of town. She was found by hikers in the vicinity of the nest unable to fly and she was fat! Suspect that her mate was bringing her food. Exam showed she was shot by a high power rifle that broke her radius-ulna. Storm was admitted as a HY (hatch year) bird from near Storm Lake. One wing tip was missing, she was emaciated and covered in dirt. Both birds were 2006 SOAR patients and added to the SOAR eagle education permit in 2007.