Higher Ground Raptor Centre is an Australian bird of prey rehabilitation, release and education facility conceived, built and managed by licensed carer Peggy McDonald CF


It is a non-government, not-for-profit, totally volunteer community-based organisation located in the Southern Highlands of NSW.


In 2017 Peggy became a Churchill Fellowship recipient "to advance and exchange our knowledge of Australian raptor rehabilitation and release techniques". Since then, Peggy has travelled to the USA, Canada, Alaska, Abu Dhabi and South Africa and is currently writing her report - watch this space!

Higher Ground Raptor Centre relies entirely on the good grace and generosity of donations and sponsorship to keep the facility running.



For all the comings and goings of Raptor rehab at Higher Ground Raptor Centre you can go to:

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All Peggy's work at Higher Ground Raptor Centre is performed voluntarily including that of Vet Dr Charles Carter.

ALL OUR PROJECTS are funded by donations and sponsors.


We are currently setting up ways where you can donate for specific projects...until then here's a list of things we need help with:

The focus in 2020 will be on developing the educational facilities at Higher Ground Raptors. There are many wonderful veterinary students who come to HGRC for their official extra-mural placements throughout the year, in addition to the many raptor rehabilitators who share their stories and knowledge. To encourage and support their learning I would like to augment the classroom with equipment such as a data projector, white board and computer.

An extension on the free flight aviary that will facilitate accommodation specifically owls, smaller raptors and also allow the birds to be caught more easily from the large free flight aviary.

As of November 2019 this facility was completed and became functional . The extension honours the memory of four people whose generous bequests enabled its completion: Chris Smith, Tony and Loisette Lewis and James Fairfax AO AC will never be forgotten out here and their kindness and belief in my work will always be remembered.


Permanent plantings for screenings and to provide enrichment particularly for the big forest owls who need to be able to hide   - Cost $1000

With gratitude to Georgia and Brett Cameron, a fellow Churchill Fellowship alumni who have provided an extremely generous donation to kickstart this new project.

Commercial freezer to enable bird food to be purchased and acquired in bulk and freeze more economically, currently I need to defrost my very old 3 domestic freezers frequently and scramble to find the right food.

Hooray! as of July end 2018 this has been kindly and generously donated by:  Matty and Cass of Eschalot Restaurant, Berrima

Shade cloth replacement - cost $2000

Work tools and dedicated shed to store work tools - $1,000

Over the course of 2019 enough money has been donated to almost complete this project. The shed is up and tool purchase has commenced. A great example of how every dollar adds up!

An upgrade to the Vetafarm CCTV system. Sadly, in my attempts to shop locally, the original system was not installed correctly and is constantly prone to lightning strikes resulting in severe damage requiring replacement to both the cameras and the entire electronic system in one case. The last time this happened, the lightning tracked up into my house and blew up my computer monitor and modem. The copper cabling needs to be replaced with optic fibre cabling.

Hooray! During July 2018, Vetafarm have completely revamped the CCTV system and there is no longer a need to panic every time we have thunder and lightning, however.....with the upgrade in facilities more money needs to be raised to update and install more cameras at a cost of $500 each.


The building of an accommodation and training facility where vet students on official extra-mural placements from around Australia can stay. It will also accommodate wildlife carer training. Both uses will mean I no longer need to accommodate students in my own home - cost $17,500

Stage 1 has commenced and the small learning cabin has been completed. Many thanks to Pru Goward, former Liberal MP who helped facilitate a donation that got this project off the ground.

Small heat panel for Wedge-tailed eagle ICU - $350


Additional small water tanks x2 and plumbing - cost $2500


Sprinkler system to cool birds down - cost $200 per aviary

This is required now more than ever during these times of excessive heat and fire risk.

Pond for Sea-eagles in the free flight aviary. I have observed, thanks to the Vetafarm CCTV system, just how often Sea-eagles like to bathe when free flying. They are currently using a child's wading pool and I need something built in, deeper and easier to clean - cost $1500

Enormous thanks to the followers of Sea Eagle Cam and SE21 who initiated the fundraising for this project and made an invaluable contribution by kickstarting this fundraiser and contributing the amount above. As the project moved on, it was decided to make the pond even bigger and better and more members of the public embraced the project and raised the required amount. Aug 31, 2019 FB post.