Butler County volunteer helping group save raptors in southwest Ohio

Charlene Howell of Wayne Twp. taught first grade for 36 years for Edgewood City Schools. When she retired, she sought a good volunteer opportunity, and she arrived at one of the area’s more unique animal aid organizations.

Howell began volunteering in November 2013 and now works about 200 to 300 hours per year. She started washing cages, began helping as a rehabilitation assistant for injured and sick birds, and she is now one of the educators that deliver programming for groups in their area.

“We provide different types of programs such as Owl Babies for young children, All About Owls, Pellet Dissection, scout badge requirements, and Beaks and Talons to name a few. We do programs from preschool to senior citizens,” she said.

Several veterinarians donate their time helping injured birds that come into RAPTOR. The bird stays at RAPTOR until it is recovered and then released back into the wild.

Some birds too injured to be released and are used in educating students and residents while they are being cared for. Those that are released are celebrated.

“Finally, it was determined Earl would be best at RAPTOR,” said Howell. “At RAPTOR she laid an egg but her name stuck. Now she’s known as Earl the Showgirl because she loves visitors and she’ll stretch her black and silver six-foot wingspan out for all her visitors.”

The RAPTOR, Inc. website lists rehabilitators who treat these birds as well as rehabilitators who treat mammals and other animals in the area. They provide information to the citizens of the surrounding area by listing resources to help animals that RAPTOR, Inc. doesn’t treat.

Contact this writer: hir54bel@gmail.com

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