Overview Cover

A Return to the Carolina Skies by Lori Norwood greets visitors to Carolina Raptor Center. File Photo.

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In wildness is the preservation of the world. – Henry David Thoreau

Carolina Raptor Center: Conserve. Educate. Inspire.

As a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, CRC relies on public financial support to fulfill our mission goals that include environmental education, the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors, and environmental stewardship. Carolina Raptor Center is currently celebrating the 40th year since the first patient, a Broad-winged Hawk, was brought to Dr. Dick Brown in the basement of the biology building at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Today, the organization’s science education programs serve over 27,000 students a year in formal education settings. The ¾ mile Raptor Trail and Edna S. Moretti Environmental Education Center welcomes over 35,000 visitors a year. The Jim Arthur Raptor Medical Center treats 900-1,000 birds a year, releasing almost 70% back into the wild. Supporters can release a raptor, adopt a bird, make a charitable donation, purchase a membership or sponsor a capital improvement project.

Our Mission

Carolina Raptor Center ignites imaginations and inspires engagement in the natural world through the exploration and rehabilitation of birds of prey. 

Core Values
Integrity: Be authentic to self and others through kindness, responsibility, and trust.
Collaboration: Supportive teamwork through open communication and personal leadership. Engaging communities by pursuing accessible and inclusive opportunities.
Innovation: Inspire life-long education and growth through creativity, taking risks, and having FUN!


Community Engagement Platform
"Where your imagination takes flight."

Birds have captured the creative imagination of humans for thousands of years. You find examples of this in art, science, and culture all over the world. The bird-human interaction inspired a mythical Icarus to fly, printmaking by John James Audubon, Chinese kite-makers, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Leonardo DaVinci’s aeronautical designs, NASCAR’s aerodynamic calculations, the successful flight of Orville and Wilbur Wright, trips to the moon and, in popular culture, Harry Potter’s Owl mailmen and the Guardians of Ga’ Hoole. Carolina Raptor Center seeks to make connections with these inspirations in order to create wonder for visitors of all ages. Our exhibits meet visitors through concepts that they understand in order to activate them to protect the natural world in new and creative ways. Our programs spark creativity in children and adults to take these connections and engage in science, art and cultural change to better the world around us.

Carolina Raptor Center has its origins in fixing the results of a negative bird/human interaction. Birds come to our hospital broken and sick because they have been hit by cars, flown into windows, ingested lead or some other poison, shot by hunters, hit electrical lines or gotten tangled in fishing line or barbed wire, among other things. As a conservator of raptors, it is our responsibility to encourage the protection of these animals, to preserve their habitats, and to lessen the impact of human populations on raptors.  This will take creative thinking, public education and consensus building that grows out of our mission to conserve raptor populations for future generations.