connecting to nature

Our Mission


Mission:  inspiring minds through wildlife


Hawk Creek Wildlife Overview

 Every living thing on our planet has a purpose – fulfilling the Circle of Life.  At Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, our mission is to educate, empower and preserve so that we will all thrive together. We inspire minds to become environmental stewards and conserve wildlife to fulfill the circle of life for generations to come.



Our Vision is a world in which humans and all other living species live in harmony with nature. This balance protects the world today and tomorrow.



Hawk Creek, founded in 1987, is one of the largest accredited non profit raptor centers in the East and receives no government funding. Located in East Aurora, New York, the Center houses a diverse, global collection of raptors and wildcats. We are uniquely poised to provide engaging, meaningful up-close encounters through flying bird shows and animal interactions for varied audiences. Through our exceptional education programs, we instill respect for nature and her laws and promote stewardship of our planet.  In addition, we support endangered species through our collaborative partnerships and vital breeding programs.  We have received many international awards including one by National Geographic. 

Through over 2500 education programs and 500 animal patients each year, Hawk Creek reconnects humans to the natural world and inspires an appreciation of nature.

Our educational programs feature live mammals, reptiles, and birds of prey. We give several thousand presentations each year, reaching people of all social and economic backgrounds and are licensed to present our educational ambassadors in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Although we would like to be open to the public on a regular basis, we will not be able to do so until we have a significant increase in funding. Currently we hold four major events during the year when we open our doors to the surrounding community and give them an opportunity to see the Center and its residents. Please check our event schedule for details.

See our Overview Booklet here.

Hawk Creek Achieves This Mission Through:

  • Conservation of Earth’s invaluable wildlife, specifically through the breeding & release of one of New York State’s rarest raptors, the Barn Owl.

  • Environmental education with inspirational and enlightening programs

  • Wildlife rehabilitation of injured and orphaned birds and mammals with the goal of returning them to the wild

  • Sanctuary for animals that cannot be returned to the wild (Hawk Creek became the 41st accredited sanctuary in the US in 2001).

We believe that the heart of Hawk Creek lies within the commitment and passion of all the dedicated volunteers that have generously given their time and talent, 25,000 hours a year! This teamwork fuels the inspirational energy of Hawk Creek, creating a place to enlighten and inspire the leaders of tomorrow — a place for our children, the stewards of our future, to learn the importance of protecting the environment, and to learn the joy and wonder of the natural world. Hawk Creek houses more than 70 birds, reptiles, and mammals, representing 52 species, many of them are threatened or endangered. The Center focuses on native species that are rarely seen in zoos and in the wild.

Hawk Creek was founded by Loretta C. Jones in 1987 as a small rehabilitation Center to teach her children respect and responsibility for nature. In 1991, Hawk Creek became an accredited 501-C(3) non-profit organization. Today, the Center is one of the largest educational outreach and Raptor Centers in New York State, rehabilitating over 500 animals a year, presenting over 2500 educational programs annually, and breeding and releasing over 180 rare barn owls. Through our environmental education programs that are designed for a varied audience, we provide an educational and unique experience that will foster in children a lifelong commitment to preserve our planet.

Every day, our volunteers and Animal Ambassadors educate the community, creating a powerful voice for the environment. We have presented programs in several states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, served as guest naturalists for Princess Cruise lines in Alaska, presented papers at international conventions, and were granted The International Conservation Award for our Barn Owl Breeding Project by the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators. We have also been honored to work with nationally recognized organizations such as the Native American Music Awards. And have made guest appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and the Rachael Ray Show. Additionally, We were filmed by Columbia Tri-star for a PBS special and chosen by National Geographic as a “Blue Planet Hero.”

We do not receive any state or federal funding, and rely completely on the generosity of people like you, people who understand the importance of our wildlife, our community, and our planet. The daily operating cost to properly care for the animals is sometimes daunting. Our food bill alone totals more than $40,000 per year. No matter how many hours we pour into the Center and our mission, we cannot do it alone.

Click here to view photos of our animals, facilities, people, and much more!