Conserve Wildlife Blog

Founding Member of The Raptor Trust Diane Soucy Honored for Legacy in Conservation

October 30th, 2018

As one of the founding members of The Raptor Trust in Millington, New Jersey, Women & Wildlife Legacy Honoree Diane Soucy has been there to provide input for every important decision. Close to 130,000 songbirds, wading birds, waterfowl, hummingbirds, raptors, and other birds have been admitted to The Raptor Trust. From much of the bird rehabilitation, to the administrative matters like bylaws and thank you letters, to the countless personal sacrifices she has made over decades, nearly everything about the Raptor Trust has gone through Diane.

For over 50 years now, Diane has devoted her life to the rehabilitation of wild birds. She has inspired thousands of people who have called or passed through the doors of The Raptor Trust, looking for help with an injured or orphaned wild bird. For years, she and her husband, Len Soucy, were the sole providers of the Raptor Trust, financing all of the aviaries and supplies completely on their own.

Diane has handled more patients and been responsible for more successful bird releases in New Jersey than anyone else at the Raptor Trust. Before there were any standards for wildlife rehabilitation, Diane developed successful songbird diets and recipes, through trial and error, which have been shared, replicated, improved upon, and used for decades throughout the larger wildlife rehabilitation community. Diane has been there every step of the way at The Raptor Trust, working as the default secretary, behind-the-scenes adviser and manager. At a time when the phrase “wildlife rehabilitation” didn’t even exist, Diane and her husband were working to develop techniques which would later become the best practices in the field.

Diane, now 82, remains a contributing member of The Raptor Trust. She still cooks up her secret recipe of fledgling woodpecker food. She still answers the phones and advises hundreds of people each year about the injured wildlife they have found. She is the “institutional memory” and “internal hard drive” of The Raptor Trust. Ultimately, there would be no Raptor Trust without Diane’s willingness to “go along for the ride.” She has truly dedicated nearly her entire life to the mission of The Raptor Trust and the well-being of New Jersey’s wildlife.


Join us to honor Diane and the three other 2018 Women & Wildlife Award Honorees on Wednesday, November 7th beginning at 6 PM. Purchase events tickets and find more information.



We asked Diane a few questions about what inspires her to dedicate her career to New Jersey’s conservation:

What is your favorite thing about your job?

That I am finally retired!

Name one thing you can’t live without.


Do you have a New Jersey wildlife species that you like best?

Many species of waterfowl. They are just so silly.

What do you find most challenging about your profession?

The very demanding nature of rehab is challenging. There is no rest. You can’t put things off until tomorrow. The immediate need to care for an injured patient always takes precedence over whatever else you might be doing.

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?





Please join us on Wednesday November 7, 2018 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Duke Farms’ Coach Barn to honor the contributions that Diane Soucy, Pat Heaney, Beth Styler Barry, and Sharon Petzinger have made to wildlife in New Jersey.

We are excited to recognize the leadership and inspiration they provide for those working to protect wildlife in New Jersey.

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