New Jersey Attractions May 02, 2022
Most People Don’t Know About This Underrated Raptor Center Hiding In New Jersey
Did you know that there is a world-class bird rehabilitation center right here in New Jersey? The Raptor Trust in New Jersey cares for thousands of birds each year, and it’s open to the public for tours and educational events all year long.
In 1968, New Jersey resident Len Soucy began caring for and rehabilitating raptors in his backyard. At the time, the operation was just a small attempt to make a difference for local birds dealing with injuries and illnesses.
As Soucy's operation expanded, his reputation grew and soon, hundreds of birds were being nursed back to health by himself and his wife, Diane. By the 1980s, the Raptor Trust had grown into a large non-profit organization, and Soucy's dream truly began to take flight. Now, 40 years later, the facility is run by Len and Diane's son, Chris Soucy.
Today, the Raptor Trust sits on a large plot of land in Morris County, New Jersey, and it welcomes visitors all year long.
Self-guided tours are free, though donations are encouraged and appreciated. The Raptor Trust is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is a fantastic spot to learn about birds of prey.
You might be surprised to learn that The Raptor Trust cares for and rehabilitates over 5,000 birds each year! Over the decades, the facility has grown to care for all sorts of birds, from raptors to songbirds.
Visitors are welcome year-round, and there are frequent events and programs. Check their calendar online to plan your visit.
During your visit, you'll meet their long-term residents. While the goal of The Raptor Trust is to rehabilitate and release birds back into the wild, some come in with injuries or disabilities that require them to make their home here.
One of these resident birds is Winston, the black vulture. His nest was destroyed during a construction project, and he was the lone survivor. Because he was hand-raised, he never quite got the hang of being a wild vulture and will live out his day in the care of the Trust...
... along with his good friend, Turk. Turk is one of three resident Turkey Vultures who call the Trust their home.
Some of the other resident birds include a bald eagle named Uno who is blind in one eye, Uggla, a great horned owl who is the oldest resident bird, and a pair of kestrels named Ollie and Zizi.
One of the Trust's most relatable residents is a snowy owl named Luna who was found unable to fly at JFK airport. We've all been there, Luna! While she has recovered from her wing injuries, her limited ability to fly means her home is here, in the safe care of her keepers.
When you visit The Raptor Trust, you'll meet these birds and more. There is so much to learn about environmental stewardship, and even on a self-guided tour, you'll walk away knowing much more about your local ecosystem.
The Trust offers small group tours hosted by their educators, as well as programs for schools, homeschool groups, scout troops, and more. Contact them to arrange a great day of learning for your crew.
Come spend a day at the Raptor Trust, one of New Jersey's most underrated animal sanctuaries. You'll learn so much about the world around you!
Learn more about
The Raptor Trust on their website, where you’ll find information about their resident birds, their mission, upcoming events, and tour options. Address: The Raptor Trust, 1390 White Bridge Rd, Millington, NJ 07946, USA