CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – You may have noticed a live hawk flying over Kinnick Stadium for the first time last season during Hawkeye football games. It’s something that will happen for a second season this year, and with an important message.
“Iowa is the most altered landscape in the nation and so our wild habitats are really threatened and endangered,” said Dave Conrads, Director of the UI WILD Department in the University of Iowa College of Education.
The Iowa Raptor Project teamed up with University of Iowa athletics to let the hawks fly on game day.
“These are hawks of the Hawkeye state is what I like to say,” Ryan Anthony said, Director of the Iowa Raptor Project.
The birds have been practicing for the last month and a half to get ready to soar over game day crowds.
“It’s pretty intense and especially when we’re flying birds it’s like they’re wild birds but they’re well trained, but you still always wonder you know is it going to fly well,” Conrads explained.
The flights have been successful, and those behind the project say, so has the messaging.
“We have so many people that come through the Iowa Raptor Project that have never been to our place before saying that we saw you either at Kinnick or in the winter time at Carver,” said Conrads.
The Iowa Raptor Project is sponsored by the University of Iowa College of Education and Kirkwood Community College.
It’s a new perspective on conservation, reaching a wider audience than ever before.
“There’s a lot of energy and people are excited and it’s a pretty fun time,” Anthony said.
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