Kate Davis, Executive Director of Raptors of the Rockies has been caring for wild animals since her start at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1973. She relocated to Montana in 1978 and received a degree in zoology with honors from the U of M.
The educational program began after a move to a ranch east of Missoula in 1988. With four federal permits (Rehab, Education, Eagle Exhibition, Falconry), she currently keeps 15 permanently injured and falconry raptors at the Raptor Ranch on the banks of the Bitterroot River. All new facilities were constructed in 2001 with the birds` comfort and safety the number one concern. Program favorites range from the tiny Northern Saw-whet Owl, Buster, to Max the Golden Eagle, now twenty-one years old. Over one hundred thousand children and adults in Montana and Idaho have met these birds over the years, with over 1200 appearances and visits to 119 schools.
The major highlight has been that Raptors of the Rockies hosted the international Raptor Research Foundation Conference in 2008. Two hundred attendees from around the world enjoyed a week dedicated to John and Frank Craighead, with the theme "The Legacy Lives On."
At the same time she organized the "Birds And Art Show" at the Monte Dolack Gallery with 20 artists in many mediums. Kate is also an artist, and resident raptors are the source for her depictions in drawings, etchings, monotype prints, paintings, and welded steel sculptures. Metal birds abound in the yard and house. Her first book for Mountain Press Publishing, Raptors of the Rockies came out in 2002, and her second, Falcons of North America hit the stands in late 2008, to excellent reviews. Kate supplied 40 of the 200 photographs as well as the pen and ink illustrations and range maps. She is currently working on a new book called Raptors of the West with falcon book photographers Rob Palmer and Nick Dunlop. It will feature hundreds of images from all three, 43 species in all.
In addition, Kate is the Chair of the Education Committee for the Raptor Research Foundation and is organizing a "Raptors In Education" Symposium for the 2010 conference in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is also a volunteer for the Montana Peregrine Institute, involved in monitoring nests and productivity in the area. Her articles and photographs have appeared in many local and national publications, including the cover shot for the new Peregrine Fund Annual Report.
With Raptors of the Rockies, Kate continues her educational programs, newsletters, greeting cards, and now a blog and YouTube videos on the website, www.RaptorsOfTheRockies.org.