Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Let's Visit The Raptor Trust in Millington, NJ

We love, love LOVE  taking mini day trips around here, especially ones that don't cost us much (or anything at all).  One of our favorite places to visit (which is often overlooked, in my opinion) is The Raptor Trust in Millington, NJ.  It is no secret that I am a certified 'bird nerd.'  I can tell you what kind of bird is nearby just from hearing its song (who knew, right?).  I keep binoculars on my kitchen table in case a bird watching moment appears.  I have a hummingbird feeder and I actually cook the nectar myself (well, it's just sugar and water, but I cook it with love!).  I could go on and on, but I don't want you to start getting frightened about how weird I am.  Anyway...



What is The Raptor Trust?

The Raptor Trust has nothing to do with dinosaurs (am I the only one who gets that joke?).  Nope, it's a wild bird rehabilitation center. That means they actually rehabilitate injured birds (check out their website for more info on this). The facility itself includes a bird hospital, exterior housing for several hundred birds and an education building. It's not a zoo, and I think it's all about educating our little ones when we visit.  They also offer programs, special events, and assistance if you find an injured bird of your own.

The Jersey Momma with trademark ponytail, at The Raptor Trust

How Much Does it Cost to Visit?

You can visit The Raptor Trust seven days a week and it is FREE.  Yes, you heard me, FREE.  However, there is a suggested donation of $2, and I highly suggest that you give them that  two bucks, if not more, if you plan on visiting their facility.  It's just a little box that you toss your donation in, and it helps to keep their wonderful place running.

The Jersey Grammy taking a break with The Jersey Momma's Boy

What Will I See at The Raptor Trust?

The Raptor Trust is a series of gravel paths with many different housing units for birds.  The last time we visited, we saw bald eagles, golden eagles, snowy owls, kestrels, vultures and a raven named Jake. There were different kinds of owls and songbirds, as well (when we were there they had housed an albino Robin!). You can see each bird in its housing area and read a little plaque about the bird who resides there.

The beautiful Bald Eagles and 9/11 dedication at The Raptor Trust

We also enjoyed reading the dedication/donation plaques posted near some of the birds.  For instance, the bald eagle enclosure was dedicated to a man who lost his life in 9/11. Another was dedicated to a beloved school teacher.

The plaque outside the bald eagles at The Raptor Trust

Richard "Rick" Rescorla was an amazing human being, by the way.  I didn't know him personally, but I googled his name after seeing this beautiful display dedicated to him.  If you're interested to read about who he was, check out this website in his honor.  The History Channel even put out a DVD about him, entitled The Man Who Predicted 9/11.

Whooo are you looking at?

JERSEY MOMMA TIPS:  

The Raptor Trust is in a shady, wooded area, so piles of sunscreen are not needed.  However, you might want to bring along some bug spray depending on the season you are visiting.

One of the sunnier spots at The Raptor Trust

You will be walking along a gravel path so be sure to wear comfy sneakers.  I had a friend come with us once and she brought along her stroller, but it was one of those all-terrain Jeep strollers.  If you are thinking of bringing a stroller, just know that it might not push so well through the gravelly stones.

The gravel paths were one of The Jersey Momma's Boy's favorite things to play with!

*There isn't a picnic area, so you can't really eat there.  Plan ahead about where you might need to stop for a meal.

*How much time you spend here is up to you.  You could probably go through the whole display in 30 minutes, or it might take you longer if you stop to linger by each bird.

*There is a small gift shop at the Raptor Trust but we have honestly never stopped in there (so unlike me, for sure!).  I don't think they sell "souvenirs," but rather, birding items and bird-lover items, if you know what I mean.

*Check out the Raptor Trust's website for hours and other important info.  There are instructions on where to park, directions, and info about educational classes that they hold there, too.  Find them here.

5 comments:

  1. Great review! Now I want to visit our raptor center :)

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    1. Thanks! You should! So nice to support these local sanctuaries.

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  2. Looks fab, love little days out like these with the kids!

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  3. That looks like fun. We went to places like this when my daughter was little.

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