TRAILS CLOSED DEC. 5-8: All Fontenelle Forest trails and the Raptor Woodland Refuge will be CLOSED from Mon., Dec. 5 through Thurs., Dec. 8, for our annual managed deer hunt. The Nature Center and Neale Woods will remain open.

TRAILS CLOSED DEC. 5-8: All Fontenelle Forest trails and the Raptor Woodland Refuge will be CLOSED from Mon., Dec. 5 through Thurs., Dec. 8, for our annual managed deer hunt. The Nature Center and Neale Woods will remain open.

Raptor Program

Birds of prey, such as eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, and vultures, have a vital role in our ecosystem. Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor program is focused on the conservation of these birds through statewide education programs, both on and off-site, including in our raptor woodland refuge.


DONATE TO the RAPTOR program

About Our Work With Raptors

Statewide Raptor Education

Some raptors are unable to fly or hunt due to a variety of factors, or previous injuries, and cannot be released.

Some of these non-releasable birds have joined our roster of educational birds for outreach and education programs. Fontenelle Forest Raptor Education reaches 20,000 people each year during our live raptor programs.

Raptor Woodland Refuge

Thirty feet above the forest floor is where we are. This canopy-level exhibit is designed according to the natural habitat of the rescued birds housed within these mews.

These are not ordinary enclosures; these are homes. These owls, hawks, falcons and other species are birds of prey that can no longer survive in the wild. But they can provide us with their experiences, so we can know more about this important part of nature. Each visit is its own unique adventure, its own story, its own memory to share.

Raptor Woodland Refuge is located at the Fontenelle Forest Nature Center. Raptor Woodland Refuge is open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily.

1. Red-tailed Hawk
2. Ferruginous Hawk
3. Great Horned Owl
4. Barn Owl
5. Swainson’s Hawk
6. Peregrine Falcon
7. Turkey Vulture
8. Ospreys
9. Rough-legged Hawk
10. American Kestrel
11. Eastern Screech-Owl
12. Barred Owl
13. Eagle Mew


Raptor Stories


Turkey Vulture
Found: 2015 Lincoln, NE
This bird arrived at a young age, emaciated and with a badly broken right wing. The resulting partial amputation on that wing would make it difficult to sustain flight over open country, woodlands, and farmlands in search of carrion, as Turkey Vultures normally do. Because these birds are often seen swooping through the air, Helios is named for the personification of the sun in Greek mythology, a titan who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day.


Ferruginous Hawk
This bird was brought to our facility on Christmas Eve with her wing badly broken in the radius ulna. After volunteers transported her over 250 miles in this condition, she was treated and the bone was pinned. Despite this, part of her wing had to be amputated and Mesa would not be able to hunt as this species normally does. As part of the Refuge, today she is a reminder of the hard work of all our dedicated volunteers who travel many miles to bring birds to our rehabilitation facility.


Peregrine Falcon
This bird hails from Omaha, where she lived on the Woodmen Tower with others known as the Woodmen Peregrines until she was found one day in 2015 down on the city streets. Charlotte appears to have a neurological dysfunction and her vision is impaired; we know this because she has difficulty navigating and finding food within her enclosure. We have attempted to release her back to her Peregrine family but have been unsuccessful. Charlotte makes her home at Raptor Woodland Refuge, where she interacts warmly with staff and visitors.

Looking for a unique gift – for a birthday, baby shower, or graduation gift? Sponsor a raptor and your gift also provides support to the Forest! Find a sponsorship that matches someone’s love for birds, and let them know this gift supports the refuge and all of our efforts for raptors. Click Sponsor a Raptor below for more information.


Book a Raptor or Critter for an Outreach Program

Want to learn about how your school, organization, or club can invite some Fontenelle Forest raptor education birds or critters to visit? Our trained staff and volunteer presenters are experienced in tailoring presentations to a wide variety of audiences and group sizes.

To find out more information about educational programs, please fill out the form below or call 402-731-3140.

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Volunteer with Raptor Education

We are always looking for volunteers to assist our Raptor Education team.

Are you interested in training to:

  • become a docent in the Raptor Woodland Refuge helping to educate the public about raptor conservation
  • assist with raptor education programs
  • help clean and maintain the Raptor Woodland Refuge
  • or have more specialized skills

Please email and someone will get back to you shortly about volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer Today

Found an injured or orphaned raptor (or other wildlife)?

If you have found an injured or orphaned raptor (or other wildlife) learn what the appropriate next steps are by clicking the button below.


Fontenelle Forest is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit.

Make a tax deductible donation NOW

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