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A Voice for the Good: Soarin' Hawk Raptor Rehabilitation Center

3Rivers is proud to support so many of the non-profit organizations that are committed to making our community a better place to live, work, and play, and we want to help spread the word about the difference they're making in our region. We’ve teamed up with 97.3WMEE to bring you A Voice for the Good, a series in which we feature local organizations on our website in the form of an informative articles as well as on-air segments highlighting the non-profits’ missions.

This article features Soarin' Hawk Raptor Rehabilitation Center—a local non-profit on a mission to “to conserve our raptor population through education and rehabilitation.”

Soarin Hawk Logo

We chatted with Danielle, Release Coordinator and Avian Care Team Lead, to learn more about Soarin' Hawk and the work they're doing in our region.

How did Soarin’ Hawk come to be? What’s the history/story behind how the organization initially got started? 

Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehab started in 1993 with the monitoring of the Peregrine Falcon release in downtown Fort Wayne. After several attempts at starting up, Soarin’ Hawk was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1996 with about 12 people. It has grown from a backyard operation to the well-established organization of today. We currently have over 100 volunteers and 24 Ambassador Birds. In a year, we rescue about 200 birds of prey!

What is the official mission of Soarin’ Hawk, and how is it currently being put into play? 

Our primary mission is ensuring the rescue, treatment, rehabilitation, and the release of healthy raptors in Northeast Indiana. 

Second, the education of the public about raptors and their role in our lives and the environment.

An Owl from Soarin Hawk

How do you see the mission and vision of Soarin’ Hawk evolving in the future in the Northeast Indiana community? Where do you see your organization a year from now, or even five years from now?

We plan to continue educating the public about Raptors and what to do when one is found injured in the wild. We hope to become well known as an organization that provides resources for citizens and raptors that need us.  

We plan to get our name out by expanding our social media presence, hosting on-site tours and engaging with the public at all of our Education Programs. 

Are there any exciting new developments, updates, or changes that have recently taken place at Soarin’ Hawk? 

Our ICU’s diagnostic capabilities have grown greatly over the past two years and we plan on continued growth in that area. Our Educational Ambassador Birds are trained with PRT (positive reinforcement training) now which promotes happier, engaged birds. We have started an enrichment department for our birds where they receive items weekly to promote natural behaviors such as foraging, shredding, and ripping. Schools and libraries will sometimes create enrichment items for our birds! It’s nice to have organizations in the community helping to make our birds' lives enriching! 

Could you share a standout story or two that really illustrates the impact Soarin’ Hawk and/or its programs have had on its rescues, or those who interact with them?

Our Great Horned Owl Ambassador, Athena, was rescued with her sibling in the spring of 2020 when they fell from their nest. Unfortunately, Athena had a fracture in her left wing which deemed her un-releasable. Her brother, however, was perfectly healthy and was able to be released back into the wild. Athena (along with the citizens who found them) attended his release ceremony to see him off. 

Through our presentations we give the community a chance to see the beauty of these birds’ close-up. Seeing an eagle close-up can be an experience of a lifetime. 

We also do our best to coordinate releases with citizens who locate an injured Raptor. We love to have these people involved and present when it comes time for the bird’s happy ending- being released back into the wild!

A bald eagle from Soarin Hawk

How can those interested in your services go about getting started or getting in touch?

Our website has information on volunteering, donations, upcoming presentations, histories on our Ambassador Birds and the current Rehab birds being treated by our amazing ICU team. You can find all this at   

Are there other local non-profit organizations that Soarin’ Hawk works/partners with to enhance their programs? 

We work with many organizations! Officially: Indiana DNR, US Fish and Wildlife Services, US Department of Agriculture.  

In addition, we work with: 

  • Non-profits, including, but not limited to: BSA, GSNEI, 4H, Department of Natural Resources, ACRES Land Trust, Little River Wetlands Project.
  • Schools: Fort Wayne Community Schools, Northwest Allen County Schools, Southwest Allen County Schools, and Canterbury.
  • Libraries: Allen County Public Library, Dekalb Public Library, Elkhart Public Library, and Huntington Public Library.
  • Parks: Fort Wayne Parks Department, Huntington, Indiana State Parks and we work very closely with Huntertown Family Park.

Are there opportunities for community members to volunteer at Soarin’ Hawk—and if so, how can they go about learning more?  

Volunteers are always welcome at Soarin’ Hawk and no experience is necessary! We offer a wide range of opportunities to volunteer, many areas are hands-on with the birds and others are more behind-the-scenes.   

We offer experiences in rescues, medical treatment, avian care, and bird handling along with computer related positions, photography, etc. Every volunteer receives training in conjunction with the tasks assigned.

A raptor from Soarin Hawk

In what other ways can community members support Soarin’ Hawk—be it through monetary donations, material donations, education, etc.? Do you have an itemized wish list of any kind or utilize options like AmazonSmile to raise funds?  

The Kroger Community Reward program helps us. Monetary donations can be made directly or through our website

When necessary, for a special situation, a plea may go out on our Facebook page

Each year we have two fundraisers: “Give-a-Hoot” and a volunteer auction.  

We do have the following Amazon wish lists:  

Where can our readers learn more about Soarin’ Hawk or about getting involved? 

Go to our website and explore our Facebook page. You can also visit our campus on a Raptor Adventure Tour or come to one of our presentations at your local library. 

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about Soarin’ Hawk? 

At the time of this article, we are actively looking for a volunteer to help us expand our social media presence (Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc.) to spread awareness about what we do and how to help!

We are a highly specialized organization that is entirely run on donations and volunteer hours. We are always looking for volunteers, but even if you don't have the time, consider sharing our information with your friends and family.

Interested in featuring your non-profit on our website and on 97.3WMEE’s A Voice for the Good? Text "VOICE" to 46862! Please note that this may lead you to incur standard text messaging rates or other applicable charges consistent with your wireless carrier/mobile phone plan.

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