Who We Are

About Birds of Prey Northwest

Birds of Prey Northwest’s mission is to educate the public about birds of prey, through on-site and virtual live raptor presentations and other expanding outreach, and provide medical treatment to injured, sick, and orphaned wild raptors with the goal of returning them to the wild. In 2022, Birds of Prey Northwest will celebrate its 29th year as a nonprofit founded by raptor biologist and executive director Janie Veltkamp in St. Maries, Idaho. Janie's early work helping reintroduce endangered Peregrine Falcons to urban sites led her to realize the unique position birds of prey hold as both powerful educators and bioindicators of ecological systems.
 
With dedicated board members, core staff, volunteers of all ages, and longtime and new partners, she is guiding Birds of Prey Northwest into the future, including state, regional and national education outreach, and state-of-the-art rehabilitation facilities and techniques. Her pioneering leadership of the team that engineered a 3D-printed prosthetic beak for Beauty the Bald Eagle, and her co-authorship of the award-winning children's book Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle, have brought Birds of Prey Northwest’s work to worldwide attention. Her coauthorship of the new, award-winning children’s book Swoop and Soar: How Science Rescued Two Osprey Orphans and Found Them a New Family in the Wild introduces readers to her work with a truly international species that now faces many environmental challenges. 

Our goals are met through program fees, grants, sale of books and other educational materials, and private donations, with 100% of our annual budget going towards our mission.

Board of Directors

Janie Veltkamp

Founding Director 

Janie received training at the prestigious University of Minnesota Raptor Center where she learned how to expertly care for and treat medically injured birds of prey. She received her Masters degree in Biology from Purdue University, where her thesis investigated wintering Bald Eagle habitat in Indiana.

Her work began reintroducing Peregrine Falcons in the Midwest and more recently Ospreys and Peregrines in South Dakota. Since then, she has treated thousands of injured birds of prey and lectures extensively about the ecology of birds of prey, traveling with specially trained Eagles, Hawks, Owls and Falcons. She works closely with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and is permitted for her work through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Janie is also a Master Falconer and has a Bachelor's Degree in nursing.

Janie is coathor of two award-winning children’s books, Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle and Swoop and Soar: How Science Rescued Two Osprey Orphans and Found Them a New Family in the Wild.

Her long-term plan is to develop an educational raptor center in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho area.

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Don Veltkamp

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Chairman of the Board

Before BOPNW, Don spent 36 years in the insurance business, the last 29 as an executive director of a large region covering over ten states, allowing him to bring extensive motivational and financial experience to BOPNW. After several years of tutelage, he now assists as one of the main bird handlers. In addition, he enjoys woodworking and frequently puts his knowledge to use in the building and upkeep of aviaries for BOPNW’s rescues.

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The osprey reintroduction program "Wings Over Water” in Yankton, SD, was sited only two miles from Don Veltkamp’s home. After learning about the program and spending many hours helping as a volunteer, including handling and rescuing ospreys under Janie’s instruction, Don found a new passion in raptors and joined Birds of Prey Northwest.

Teriann Poutre’


Teriann Poutre’ Sandpoint, Idaho

Teriann was born and raised in Minnesota and spent most of her life in the outdoors camping, hiking, fishing, hunting and working on the farm in her youth.


She is the proud mother of three adult children that all share her love for nature and the care of animals.


She has worked in the medical field for 15 years, co-owned a construction company for 25 years and volunteered at the Life Care Center, Relay for Life, Special Olympics, YMCA, and Animal Shelters. She is adept at doing everything from raising money and creating awareness for each organization: including repairs for local fire departments and their gear, teaching children how to do their own blood testing and insulin administration, and even taking inner-city youth on 2 week canoe trips. 

 

"I am proud to be a volunteer for BOPNW working as the fundraising coordinator and helping with raptor rescues."

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Patti Wheeler


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Patti grew up on the East Coast in North Carolina. She moved along with her husband and three children to the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado in 1994. It was there that she and her family discovered their deep love for the outdoors. Along with raising three children, she found time to ski, ride horses, help with a cattle drive or two as well as learn to love the diversity of birds and animals in the west. She and her husband Bill left Colorado in 2007 and fell in love with the northwest beginning first in Omak, Washington.

 

Besides raising a family and becoming a life coach, Patti has served as a community leader in her church and various other organizations. She has done mission work in Haiti, helped lead fundraisers for local food programs to feed our community and served on the Better Care Board (the fundraising arm for the local community Hospital). But the most unique and educational opportunity she experienced since moving to St. Maries was getting connected to Birds of Prey Northwest and coming to know Janie and Don Veltcamp.

 

She and her husband Bill have been volunteers with the Birds of Prey Northwest for over five years, and with this new commitment to serve on the board Patti looks forward to expanding her support.

Staff Fisherman’s Market

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Janie Veltkamp

Don Veltkamp

Keaton Buell

Volunteers

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Wayne Melquist

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Margo Wolf

Mags Shaw

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Dave Erbland

Drew Day

Karina Day

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Live Bird Program Brochure

Barnes Family
Will,Lily and Victoria

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Kajsa Van de Riet

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Lennie Herrmann

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Connie O'Dell

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Captain J. Michael O'Dell

Our History

The Osprey Project, 2008-2010
In the South Dakota-Idaho Osprey translocation project biologist Dr. Wayne Melquist from the University of Idaho, Janie Veltkamp and volunteers from Birds of Prey Northwest embarked upon the goal of this four-year endeavor which was to re-establish a viable population of Osprey along the Missouri river in South Dakota by transferring young Ospreys from abundant nests in Idaho.

These transplanted youngsters were gathered, weighed, banded, and vaccinated while in Idaho. Once transported to South Dakota, satellite-tracking transmitters were attached to some of the birds and they were placed in large, screened-in boxes atop towers where they were fed and cared for.


Once flying, the birds continued to return to the tower for food until they learned to catch fish on their own. It is during this time that they imprinted on their new surroundings, increasing the likelihood of returning to the same area when they are old enough to nest.

In August and September, Ospreys migrate south to warmer climates closer to the equator, where they remain until two years of age. Satellite transmitters allow scientists in Idaho to track their movements during migration and in the wintering area.

The Peregrine Falcon Reintroduction Project 2011-2013

Once protected by the U.S Endangered Species Act, the peregrine falcon has recovered in many parts of its North American range. This is due to educating the public, reintroduction, and a reduction in environmental contaminants.

Peregrine falcons once nested in the Black Hills of South Dakota. South Dakota Game & Fish Parks led an effort to reintroduce peregrine falcons starting in the inner-city of Rapid City, SD during the summer of 2011. This state endangered species received a boost in its recovery under the guiding hand of raptor biologist Janie (Fink) Veltkamp, who coordinated the reintroduction. Peregrine chicks were purchased from falcon breeders throughout the United States to make the move. Until they were ready for release, the young falcons were fed and cared for at the reintroduction site for approximately six weeks and releases were staggered by age groups. Each falcon was marked with metal leg bands, red color leg bands and temporary, non-toxic paint to allow identification at the release site, and in the future.

Veterinary Support kindly provided by:
​Dr. Annie Bowes at Emergency Pet Clinic in Post Falls, Idaho
Dr. Kevin Rogers and the Staff at Kootenai Animal Hospital in Post Falls, Idaho

North Idaho Animal Hospital, Sandpoint, Idaho