Educational Programs

SOAR’s goal is to return all birds to the wild. However, once healed, not all birds are able to be released because of limited to no vision or being unable to fly. These birds may become part of the ‘educational ambassador team’ here at SOAR.

SOAR provides educational programs featuring their non-releasable birds of prey. These programs are adaptable to any age audience indoors or out. SOAR can provide educational programming throughout Iowa thanks to our network of experienced environmental educators.

Live bird presentations are effective educational tools that make lasting impressions on any audience. Invite the SOAR educators for a unique educational experience filled with age-appropriate information and activities for your school, youth group, or public event. SOAR maintains all necessary US Fish & Wildlife Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources permits.

All SOAR programs stress our mission of raptor rehabilitation, education, and research and are adapted to your specific needs as best we can. Watch either of these YouTube videos to learn more about our education programs (these videos were taken at a showcase of talent for Iowa public libraries in 2014): Terrie or Linette

Topics of programs include:

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

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 160 miles round-trip from SOAR.

Please email SOAR or call (319) 238-1199 to check for availability and donation. 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 the availability of Program Grants and other options. Click here if you are interested in sponsoring an educational program!

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

Public events, fairs, and festivals with a booth / walk-by setting
One (1) raptor, no eagle, 3-4 hours$200
2-3 raptors, no eagle, 3-4 hours$350
One (1) eagle, 3-4 hours$450
For each hour beyond 4, add$100
Programs for your group, organization, or business
One (1) owl, hawk, or falcon, 1-2 hours$200
2-3 raptors (hawk, owl, and/or falcon), no eagle, 1-2 hours$250
One (1) eagle, 1-2 hours$350
School environmental education programs -- at school or field trip
3-6 presentations with 1-2 raptors$350
Presentation(s) with one (1) eagle$350
Virtual Program
1-2 raptors for up to 45 minutes$60

Please note: Round trip mileage charge will be added to our invoice at a rate of 0.45 per mile for those program locations that are more than 80 miles one-way from SOAR.

Ex: Program location is 100 miles from SOAR. Mileage charge would be, 100 – 80 = 20 x 2 = 40 round-trip miles, 40 x 0.45 = $18.00.

Also see: Upcoming Events

Please know sometimes our education birds serve as “foster parents” to young or recovering patients and may not be available for programming duties! We will do our best to accommodate any requests, but cannot guarantee the availability of a specific ambassador.

Traveling Education Ambassadors

SOAR bald eagles on display at Swan Lake State Park!

Swan Lake SP display eaglesLinn (left) and Storm are the SOAR education eagles on display at Swan Lake State Park — which is home to and managed by the Carroll County Conservation Board and located near the town of Carroll. 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. Here is a Google Map link to the park.

Spirit and Liberty — the original education eagles

Spirit and Liberty have been around almost as long as the organization has been in existence. These two eagles played an integral role in establishing our education program and have turned over the bulk of the programming duties to Thora.

education eagleSpirit was admitted in March of 2000 as a hatch year 1999 bird — she had most probably flown into a powerline and had a compound fracture of the radius and ulna in her left wing. She spent many days on the ground before a local farmer realized she was there and needed help. By this time, she was starving, dehydrated, and had dying tissue in her injured wing. She has adjusted quite well to being a program bird – being so young on admission.

education eagleLiberty was admitted December 2001 — as a hatch year 2001 bird — he also had spent time on the ground with a non-compound fractured humerus. The humerus had been broken in two places, near his shoulder joint — leaving the bone in three pieces. By the time a local landowner near the Raccoon River noticed he could not fly and he was rescued, the humerus had healed quite a bit — there was too much calcification to do any kind of surgery on the site. The weight of the wing pulled and tilted it forward and it had healed out of position leaving Liberty unable to fly.

Sponsor an Educational Program

Your support can help provide education programming or help SOAR get to public events and professional meetings! Please send your tax-deductible donation marked ‘Education Program Sponsor’ and note if you want to sponsor a specific program. Your donation need not cover the entire cost, nor be specified to a group. Donations marked ‘Education Program Sponsor’ will be set aside just for these needs!

Your direct donations – mailed to SOAR or through PayPal – support our mission by providing patient care, ongoing care and support of our educational ambassador team, help to provide educational programming, and continue our research efforts.

Please click the ‘Donate Now’ button in the sidebar (you can note your category of support in the message line on PayPal) or send your donation to:

25494 320th St
Dedham, IA 51440

SOAR is a 501(c)3 and donations are tax-deductible, please contact your tax adviser if you have questions.