About the Iowa Raptor Project

The mission of the Iowa Raptor Project is to connect students and the community to the conservation of birds of prey and their natural habitats through research and education opportunities. IRP is a jointly sponsored program of the University of Iowa College of Education and Kirkwood Community College. We achieve our goal to preserve raptor populations and habitats through educational experiences that awaken awareness, nurture appreciation and inspire action, as well as through field research on raptor nesting habitats, migration routes, and wintering grounds.

On June 1, 2016, the Macbride Raptor Project changed its name to the Iowa Raptor Project to better represent the scope of our work and our new vision to focus on research and education.

The Iowa Raptor Project currently displays 17 unreleasable birds of prey historically found in Iowa. The Iowa Raptor Project is open to the public, and we welcome visitors! 

Hours of Operation:

  • April - October | 6am - 9pm, daily
  • November - March | 9am - 6pm, daily

Location:

Macbride Nature Recreation Area
2095 Mehaffey Bridge Rd.
Solon, Iowa 52333

Self-Guided Tours:

Open for self-guided tours during during regular hours of operation.

How to Find Us:

Follow the signs through Macbride Nature Recreation Area to the Iowa Raptor Project parking area, about two miles from the park entrance. A quarter-mile gravel road connects the parking area to the Iowa Raptor Project.

Things to Remember: 

The Iowa Raptor Project is an outdoor facility. Please dress accordingly for the weather. Please note that many of the paths at the Iowa Raptor Project are gravel, so comfortable walking shoes are recommended. There are no modern restroom facilities located at the Iowa Raptor Project, though there is a portable toilet on site. Water is available from a handpump, but there are no drinking fountains. It is recommended that you bring your own water bottle. Dogs and other animals are not permitted at the Iowa Raptor Project.

Join us at the Iowa Raptor Project and visit our raptors on display!  We will lead your group through the area, introduce you to our raptors, and tailor our discussion to your group’s needs and interests.

Location:

Macbride Nature Recreation Area
2095 Mehaffey Bridge Rd.
Solon, Iowa 52333

Available Tour Days/Times:

Weekdays, 10am through 3pm, by appointment only

Cost:

$150 minimum for up to 50 participants, plus $3 per person for each additional participant*

Duration: 

40-60 minutes, depending on group needs

What to Expect:

Your participants will get an up-close introduction to four of our raptors and learn more about each raptor species. We will discuss the history of the Iowa Raptor Project and examine a variety of topics related to raptor conservation. 

Cancellations:

A 48-hour cancellation notice is requested. In the event of inclement weather, it may become necessary to reschedule your program.

Questions?

Please call our office at 319-467-3287 to arrange for a guided tour or email coe-irp@uiowa.edu.

*Please Note: In order to provide the most interactive experience possible, we encourage you to consider the group size when scheduling an on-site tour. Although we are happy to accommodate a larger group, the optimal size for our educational tour is approximately 25 participants. Please contact us to discuss options to divide your group to enhance your experience. Additional costs may apply.

Invite the Iowa Raptor Project to visit your school or organization and provide a live raptor presentation for your next special event! We will introduce you to our traveling raptors and tailor our discussion to your group’s needs and interests.

Available Program Days/Times:

By appointment only

Cost:    

$300 per program at a venue located within 25 miles (one-way) of the Iowa Raptor Project.

$400 per program at a venue located between 26-50 miles (one-way) from the Iowa Raptor Project.

$500 per program at a venue located between 51-75 miles (one way) from the Iowa Raptor Project.

$600 per program at a venue located between 76-100 miles (one-way) from the Iowa Raptor Project.

Please call to request pricing for a Traveling Raptor Program at a venue located farther than 100 miles from the Iowa Raptor Project.

A reduced cost of $100 per program will apply to additional programs booked consecutively, on the same day, at the same venue.

Duration:

30-50 minutes, depending on group needs

What to Expect:

Your participants will get an up-close introduction to three or four of our raptors and learn more about each raptor species. We will discuss the history of the Iowa Raptor Project and examine a variety of topics related to raptor conservation.

Cancellations:

A 48-hour cancellation notice is requested. In the event of inclement weather, it may become necessary to reschedule your program.

Selecting a Venue:

Whenever possible, please select a location that offers good acoustics and allows for a safe distance between the raptors and your participants. There should be no other animals present during our program. For ease of set-up and tear-down, a nearby parking spot would be greatly appreciated.

Questions? 

Please call 319-467-3287 or email coe-irp@uiowa.edu.

If you find an injured raptor, please contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Please note that the Iowa Raptor Project is currently not accepting animals for rehabilitation. View the complete list of licensed Iowa wildlife rehabilitators here.

Man with telescope observing a lake

IRP is focusing on three aspects of Iowa raptor populations to assess habitat needs and population trends in our native raptors.  

  1. Monitoring winter raptor populations and discerning habitat needs for wintering raptors
  2. Monitoring nesting raptor populations and determining habitat needs through urban, suburban, rural landscapes
  3. Monitoring migrating raptor populations through counts and banding projects 

For those interested in participating in these projects, call 319-624-7178 or email Dave Conrads.

Help us soar

Raptor in flight

Share in the rewards of the Iowa Raptor Project and our goal to inspire awareness, appreciation, and action on behalf of Iowa’s raptors by donating to Iowa Raptor Project or adoption one of our raptors.

Donate

Volunteer

Person holding raptor

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us! Dedicated volunteers are the heart and soul of the Iowa Raptor Project. They include students and staff from Kirkwood Community College and the University of Iowa, as well as teachers, researchers, retirees, artists, and more. Volunteers are involved in every aspect of the IRP, and are conscientious, dependable, and incredibly giving individuals.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form:
Volunteer Interest Form

Current volunteers may log in here:
Volunteer Information Center

Contact Us

Ryan Anthony
Director of Iowa Raptor Project
COE-IRP@uiowa.edu
319-467-3287 (Monday thru Friday, 8am-4pm)

*For after hours emergencies at the Iowa Raptor Project, please call 319-624-7178.