About Us

Eastern Screech Owl in log

The mission of the Black Hills Raptor Center is to conserve and protect native birds of prey and their natural habitats through education, rehabilitation, and research.

We provide 125-150 educational programs annually using live raptors. We present in classrooms, at youth programs, in the community, and for special events.

We are growing! Building is in progress for a new facility to house our education birds. Our long-term goal is to create a facility that can be visited by the public, will provide raptor rehabilitation services in western South Dakota, and will conduct scientific research on birds found in our region.

We are a not-for-profit organization with a 501(c) 3 status from the Internal Revenue Service.

Mailing Address:
Black Hills Raptor Center
PO Box 48, Caputa, SD 57725


Our birds and volunteers


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Our Board of



Peggy Behrens, DVM

Dr. Behrens is our veterinarian of record for federal permits. She has special interest in rehabilitation of raptors. She was the head of the NAU vet tech program for 30 years before her retirement in the spring of 2018.

Steven Benn, MD

Dr. Benn is a retired neonatologist and former medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Monument Health. He is interested in education of children, falconry, and brings business acumen and knowledge of animals to the Board. He currently serves as the Board President.

Elliot J Bloom, Attorney

Elliot grew up on a ranch near Rapid City SD. He obtained a BA in chemical engineering from Augustana College in 2011, and a Law Degree from University of South Dakota in 2017. After being a law clerk for the SD Supreme Court, he joined the firm of Beardsley, Jensen & Lee in Rapid City in 2018. His practice focuses on estate planning, estate administration, agricultural law, and general civil litigation.

Maggie Engler

Specialized Tutor, Rapid City Dyslexia Care
Co-founder and Executive Director (non voting member of the Board)
Maggie is a professional environmental educator and interpreter with 41 years’ experience in the field. She also has 14 years of experience as a professional fundraiser. She is critical to the rehabilitation efforts of the organization. She serves as the volunteer coordinator for the BHRC, and does much of the avian training work.

Leon Fenhaus

Leon is retired from the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 49. He has also served as a lobbyist in Washington DC. His ability to negotiate, and his understanding of business processes, is invaluable to the board. He currently serves as the Board Treasurer.


Julia Kittelson

Librarian, Rapid City Public Library
Julia has more than 10 years of experience with avian care and education. She is a graduate of UC – Davis. Her skills with birds, children, and social media allow our board to transition in to the next generation of passionate supporters of raptors and rehabilitation. She is currently the Board Secretary.

Frank Moser, Licensed Insurance Agent, The Globe Companies

Frank enjoyed a long career with the Boy Scouts of America, working as a professional fundraiser. Now he owns his own businesses, and has returned to the Black Hills area to raise his family. His passion for children, raptors and the outdoors has brought him to our board, where he is now guiding our major donor fundraising efforts. He is currently the Board Vice-President.

Jeff Sugrue,
Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel
General Contractor for the Board

Jeff served 32 years in the US Army, retiring in 2011. He has volunteered as a Council Commissioner for the Boy Scouts and Fire Chief of the Silver City Volunteer Fire Department. His expertise includes recruiting, fundraising, strategic planning, training, and also general contracting. He is the head of our Construction Committee. He is a graduate of the University of Montana School of Forestry.




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