Release: Sending a Seagull On Its Way!

Ring Billed Gull by Michele Nigg

This Saturday, RARE was able to release a Ring-billed Gull!  This bird, likely on its migration journey, was found in a park near Shueyville.  It was unable to walk or stand.  It rapidly improved after being treated with medication.  Enjoy the video below of the gull enjoying a snack during its time with us!

Thanks to Michele for the photo and video, and for releasing this bird!

Collaborating with the University of Iowa!

photo by Nikki Herbst
The RARE Group is very excited to be the subject of the University of Iowa’s Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication course!

The class has been working with RARE to learn about our organization, and will be using that information to develop customized marketing packages.

We are looking forward to see what the groups present in December!


photo by Erin Melloy

Our New Space

We have been busy this summer readying our new space!

We first announced our new clinic area in this blog post.  We are excited to share with you some photos of the space in progress and near completion!

Many thanks to all the volunteers and donors who made this happen!

Continue reading Our New Space

Release! Great Horned Owl

photo by Nikki Herbst
photo by Nikki Herbst

We are always very excited when we get to release one of our patients back to the wild!

A gentlemen found this great horned owl near his home in Dixon, Iowa. He came to us around a month ago with a fracture of one wing. Below is a video of when he was discovered:

This young owl, who still had a bit of down around its head, was able to heal without surgery; it just needed cage rest to allow the wing to heal. He spent about 2.5 weeks at the flight cage.

On Wednesday, October 5th, the owl was released by his finder, Lyle Anderson!  Check out his video below.  Lyle, thank you for sharing, and for helping this magnificent bird!


RARE Firewood Sale!

Stay warm this winter AND help the RARE Group!

As a fundraiser, RARE is offering face cords of wood for $125, delivered – we will even stack it for you, within 100 feet of the delivery location!  We will come to you if you are within a 25 mile radius of Iowa City, Iowa.

If you would like to pick it up from our location in Solon, the price is just $85!

To order your face cord of wood, send us a message with your contact information and address to , or call us at (319) 248-9770 between 8 AM and 6 PM.


Mixed wood, cut in 2015.  Harvested in Solon, Iowa.Save

RARE + AmazonSmile

Do you shop at  Would you like to help support The RARE Group with every purchase you make?  Well, it’s your (and our!) lucky day, because AmazonSmile has made it incredibly easy to support your favorite charities simply by shopping!

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a service operated by Amazon which allows users to enjoy the same convenient shopping features as on The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the charitable organization of your choice.

That’s right – all you have to do is purchase items through AmazonSmile and 0.5% of each eligible purchase will be automatically donated to The RARE Group!

Sounds great!  How do I get started?

It’s super simple.  To link your existing Amazon account with AmazonSmile, follow the steps below:

  • Log on to (and be sure to bookmark this site!).
  • Under the Your Account tab toward the top right of the screen, choose Your Account from the drop down menu.
  • Scroll down to the Settings section.
  • Under the Account Settings list, select the Change Your Charity link.
  • In the Or pick your own charitable organization: field, type in The RARE Group and click the Search button (see graphic below).

  • Click the Select button to choose The RARE Group as your charity (see graphic below).

And that’s all there is to it!

It’s really that easy to support RARE simply by shopping with AmazonSmile.  Update your account today to get started!

To find out more about the program, visit AmazonSmile’s Program Details page.

Thank you all for your interest in The RARE Group and for all the support we have received from our community.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on all our wild news!

A Warm Thank You

Remember just last week when we shared the great news about our new incubator?  Well today we have even more great news – the new incubator has already arrived at the RARE clinic!  Here is our very happy veterinary technician and field team member Michele, who championed the campaign, with our new Baby Warm incubator.

The RARE Group would very much like to thank all of our donors once again for helping us continue our care of Iowa’s wildlife.  Without your kindness and generosity, we would not be able to do what we do.

The RARE Group would also like to thank Baby Warm once again for their work to provide opportunities like this to wildlife rehabilitation groups across the country.  Because of organizations like this, so many baby animals receive the safety and warmth they need while in care.  And that fills us warm fuzzy feelings!

Be sure to follow The RARE Group on Facebook to stay up to date on news, events, and other wild happenings with RARE.

A New Incubator for RARE

We have some very exciting news to share: the RARE Group has received funding to add an incubator to our new clinic facility!  Thanks to a campaign through the non-profit Baby Warm, an organization that does just one thing — helps raise funds to buy high quality incubators for wildlife rehabbers like us — we were able to raise $475.00 and will soon have a warm, safe haven for baby birds.

View our Baby Warm project page here.

Keeping baby animals warm can mean the difference between life and death — just one incubator can save the lives of hundreds of animals. Through the help and generosity of our community, we have met this goal (almost literally overnight!) and will soon have a warm, safe place for baby raptors.  THANK YOU TO ALL WHO DONATED!  A big thank you as well to Baby Warm for helping wildlife rehabilitators achieve these goals and continue to provide the best care possible for all wild creatures.

A juvenile Great Horned Owl is treated in the RARE clinic.

From the BabyWarm website:

We donate incubators to wildlife rehabilitators who save orphaned wild baby animals.

In communities everywhere, there are wildlife rehabilitators who dedicate their lives to caring for orphaned baby animals, often paying for baby formula, medicine and supplies out of their own pockets. For many rehabbers, a life saving incubator is a luxury that’s out of their reach.

Baby incubators are the best place for weak and fragile baby animals to heal, hide, cuddle, and grow ~ especially for tiny babies who aren’t yet old enough to retain their own heat. The incubators provide a warm, clean, quiet, safe and reliable haven for these orphaned baby animals.

[incubator image above via]

2016 Pelican Festival Flyer & Map2

Save the Date for the 2016 Pelican Festival

Join The RARE Group at the 6th Annual Pelican Festival on Sunday, September 11 at the Hawkeye Wildlife Area near Swisher.  Exhibitors include the Iowa Ornithologist’s Union, Eastern Iowa Beekeeper’s Association, Iowa and Cedar County Conservation, and of course, The RARE Group.

For more information, check out the Pelican Festival event page on Facebook and stay tuned for more updates from RARE as the date approaches.  As always, you can follow The RARE Group by staying up to date on news and events via our Facebook page and blog.  Thank you for your support!

2016 Pelican Festival Flyer & Map2