The IRC has presented hundreds of programs to thousands of people over the years. Many consider the IRC the expert in conservation and environmental education presentations. Many permanently injured birds of prey live full time at the IRC. These birds serve the community as
Wildlife Educational Ambassadors.
Jacques Nuzzo, Jane Seitz and these beautiful ambassadors travel across Illinois with lively, entertaining conservation and environmental programs. IRC also travels with bioartifacts (feathers, wings, skulls, feet, eggs, etc.) and real life stories to encourage youth (and adults) to get outside and enjoy nature.
A list of programs and contact information for scheduling a presentation are listed below.
List Of Available Programs
ART AND NATURE
Artists frequently draw inspiration from nature. The work of John James Audubon lives on today and continues to have great influence. Many others have crusaded to raise awareness of our natural treasures through their work as well. Our new "Art and Nature" program will bring up to three birds of prey into your art classroom to serve as models for young artists. Our volunteer will present a brief natural history program to introduce your students to the birds before they begin to draw or paint. The birds are extremely tolerant and will remain perched in your classroom. Students will be close enough to see them clearly. The best work, as chosen by the art teacher, may be displayed on our Web site with your permission.
What is a raptor? A bird that eats meat? Is a robin a raptor? Why not? The main purpose of a Raptors 101 presentation is to help people understand and enjoy the natural world around them. Raptors 101 provides the basic information needed to identify raptors seen while driving along the highway, hiking in the woods or cutting the grass in the back yard. During the presentation, audiences will be introduced to 4 different families of raptors - an owl, a hawk, a falcon, and an "other". The "other" is a bird that everyone thinks is a raptor but isn't! We explore size, color, feathers, flying, hunting styles, beaks, feet, talons and adaptations. Raptors 101 is suitable for all ages. For an additional charge, you can add Bald or Golden Eagle to this presentation.
ILLINOIS DAY SHIFT
Ever wonder what kind of hawk hovers along the highway? Have you ever seen two hawks dive towards each other in a courtship "sky dance?" How does the vulture defend itself against predators? This program will give you some insights into hawk and falcon behavior as well as a close up and personal view of these magnificent sky hunters. For an additional charge, you can add a Bald and/or Golden eagle to the presentation.
ILLINOIS NIGHT SHIFT
Owls have always mystified people. Their nocturnal habits keep them out of sight, and out of mind. Our program will bring them into your classroom or auditorium and give everyone a chance to see and understand these amazing stealth predators. This is a smaller version of our Owls of Illinois presentation.
OWLS OF ILLINOIS
This is our largest and most popular program! Nowhere else can you see such a variety of owl species at one time. Up to seven owls accompany us on this program, including some that are now endangered in the state of Illinois. We cover the natural history of owls living in or migrating through Illinois.
FALCONS OF ILLINOIS
You'll be amazed at the sight of these small and compact sky hunters. Falcons are the "sports cars" of the raptor world. Their specialized hunting techniques and calm demeanor will impress any audience. They will have you watching the skies after the program.
BACK FROM THE BRINK
Many people can name an endangered species from Africa; the black rhino for example. Others might be able to list a few threatened or endangered species living in the United States; the spotted owl, the California condor and the Florida panther are a few of the better known examples. Few, however, realize that some wild animals are in peril right here in Illinois. Meet some birds of prey that are disappearing from Illinois forever and some that are actually "back from the brink".
EAGLES OF ILLINOIS
People have been inspired by eagles for centuries. Religions, countries, armies and others have adopted the eagle as their symbol of power. We'll bring eagles (Bald and Golden) to your location so you can see the power and beauty of these truly magnificent birds of prey. You will also see other birds of prey that are commonly misidentified as eagles.
IN THE MODERN WORLD
Human have been hunting with birds of prey since 1700 B.C. This program will reveal how the ancient sport of falconry can still have an impact today. The techniques, equipment and vocabulary we employ to handle and care for our Wildlife Ambassadors are centuries old. From Ghenghis Khan, who hunted with trained Golden Eagles, to the peregrine falcon restoration program, see how falconry has touched all of our lives.
HOW TO HELP WITHOUT HURTING
A baby bird is hopping around in your backyard. Is it an orphan? Is it lost? Did it fall out of the tree? What do you do? Sometimes wildlife encounters can be confusing. Often, well-meaning people try to raise wild babies with disastrous results. This program teaches the basic natural history of common wildlife species you are likely to encounter. You will learn how to identify the animal and determine if it needs help or if it can be left alone. You may be surprised to learn how well nature can take care of its own.
Boy, have we got a box full of neat stuff for children (preschool to third or fourth grade). Bones, fur, leaves, and logs. All of the amazing things that we have found in our wildlife adventures are here. Your group can touch and feel all the items, no problem. Have you ever seen a hummingbird's feather? We've got one. Hear the stories behind each item, and view one of our live Wildlife Ambassadors up close. This is an interactive program.
The Man Who Called Down Owls by Eve Bunting
Jackie’s Wild Seattle by Will Hobbs
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Guardians of Ga'Hoole by Kathryn Lasky
See the Ga'Hoole movie trailer here
Read Guardians of Ga'Hoole!
The movie came out September 2010!
Your place or ours!
Tell us what you need! Do you have an environmental topic in mind that we could help you with? Call us. We would be pleased to help create a program involving our animals and your specific needs. Please call well in advance to give us time to properly plan your program. Please e-mail your request to to our Program Director, Jack Nuzzo - Program Information.
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