Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cascades Raptor Center

Here are two photos taken at the Cascades Raptor Center, Eugene (OR), located near Spencer's Butte. The top picture shows a species of hawk. The bottom one shows a few of the shaded cages and a path. The center is located on the side of a hill and the paths are steep.

I was really happy to be able to visit this non-profit center and see so many raptors. Here in WV I see turkey vultures, red-tailed hawks, and perhaps another small hawk. The Raptor Center cares for many birds who were brought in injured (usually) and either rehabilitates them to be returned to the wild, or keeps them lifelong, if their injuries are too severe.

I saw many species of hawks and owls, as well as bald and golden eagles. The place serves as an educational center on birds of prey for the Eugene area and hosts many students during the school year.

We asked about the bags of feathers that we saw pinned to the walls of the supply sections of the cages and were told that even though they are approved to care for these special birds, they are not allowed to keep the feathers from certain species, such as eagles. Those feathers are sent to a federal facility in Colorado. Native Americans who need the feathers for spiritual ceremonies must make formal, written requests for them. It was unclear to me if non-Native Americans are entitled to request feathers as well.

They provide a sitting bench in front of one of the bald eagle cages. It was awesome to just sit and contemplate this magnificent bird.

The gift shop sells a wonderful variety or raptor-themed merchandise, including reproductions of pencil drawings of some raptors at a reasonable $8! If you ever visit Eugene, I recommend a visit here. You will not be disappointed.

No comments: