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A Trip to Oregon…and the Cascades Raptor Center

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*Click on any photo in this post to enjoy a larger view.

On the southeast edge of Eugene, Oregon, nestled among tall trees, sits the Cascades Raptor Center (CRC). Visitors to the center pull into a gravel parking lot and are greeted with the haunting calls of eagles, hawks, osprey and falcons.

Kip and I visited the center on May 6th and expected to only spend about an hour there. Instead, we found ourselves completely engrossed in what this amazing center has to offer…and nearly four hours later, we were still there!

The center is a 501c3 non-profit nature center and wildlife hospital founded in 1987.  Public education activities are provided both on and off-premises and the center is open to members and the general public six days a week, as well as by appointment or for field trips and group tours on other days or at other times.

One of the primary goals of CRC is to rehabilitate, and release back to the wild, sick and injured birds (primarily raptors) which include owls, hawks, eagles, falcons, osprey, corvids, kites, and vultures. Up to 200 orphaned sick, and injured raptors are treated there each year. Nearly 1300 birds have been returned to the wild in the last seventeen years.

CRC also has resident birds whose disabilities make it impossible for them to survive in the wild. It is these birds who visitors to the center may observe in the large outside enclosures. The resident birds are used for education. Some have lost vision, or have wings which were fractured and did not heal well. Others suffered head injuries or are developmentally delayed. Learn more about the center by visiting this page on their site.

While we were at the center, there was an educational presentation by two volunteers. A great horned owl was one of the birds on display during this presentation (the bird in the photo on the top left of this post). I was surprised to learn that horned owls love to prey on skunks. I think we could use a few of these fellows on our property where the skunk population is rather large!

Danu, an osprey with developmental delays, was also on display at the presentation. She is a beautiful bird who ended up in captivity after her father was killed and her mother was unable to care adequately for her brother and her. Despite efforts to rehabilitate her and return her to the wild, Danu’s delays and slow growth have prevented her from being freed.

There are many ways to support CRC, including purchasing a membership at the center or sponsoring a raptor. Wish list items may also be donated. And of course, volunteers are always needed.

If you happen to be passing through the Eugene area, I hope you’ll take the time to visit the Cascades Raptor Center – it is truly a wonderful place. I feel honored to have spent time with some of these majestic birds.

Here are more photos from our visit there:

 

 

 

 

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22 Comments

  1. zibilee says:

    Oh, man, I would love the chance to visit this center one day. I am a huge bird lover, and have a window that opens to the backyard where I can blog and watch the birds everyday. It’s such a pleasure for me to see a new bird, or see an old familiar friend in the yard. It must be kismet that you put this post up today, because I just put a new bird bath in the yard, and saw a lot of new visitors. Great post today. I will be checking out some of these websites, and passing this review along to my husband, who loves birds too.

    1. Wendy says:

      I’m a huge bird lover too, Heather. We have a nesting pair of red tail hawks in the tree outside our house…every year, I look forward to them returning. They are so beautiful! I hope you get a chance to visit Oregon and this center sometime. Well worth the time!

  2. What a lovely place to spend the day. It sounds like they’re doing great work there!

    1. Wendy says:

      It is gorgeous there, Kathy!

  3. Kathleen says:

    I will definitely plan to visit this Center if I make my way to Eugene again one day. I love birds and have seen eagles, osprey, hawks, etc on my camping/wilderness journeys.

    1. Wendy says:

      I hope you get a chance to go there someday, Kathleen!

  4. Laura says:

    Wendy, you know I’m a bird nerd and used to volunteer at a bird rescue organization in Pennsylvania. They cared for songbirds and shorebirds, as well as raptors, with a similar mission to the organization you visited. So as you can imagine, I really enjoyed this post and am glad, too, that you and Kip had such a great visit. Raptors are soooo cool.

    1. Wendy says:

      Laura: I remember that you did some volunteer work in Pennsylvania. I would love to volunteer at a center like this! Glad you enjoyed the post. I agree – raptors = very cool!

  5. Patti Smith says:

    I so love places like these! I never imagined in a million years that animals could also have “developmental delays”…very, very interesting! :)

    1. Wendy says:

      Patti Smith: I know, I never thought about a bird being developmentally delayed either!

  6. Amused says:

    Wow, this sounds so cool. I go to Oregon fairly often so next time I go I need to add this to my list of places to check out!

    1. Wendy says:

      Leah: Oh, you should definitely go!

  7. What awesome and majestic creatures! It’s wonderful that there is a place that specifically caters to these birds needs. I’m an avid animal lover but would have never thought that a place for birds with developmental challenges existed. Thanks for sharing. I absolutely love your photos!

    1. Wendy says:

      Jenna: They are magnificent, aren’t they?

  8. Fascinating and beautiful! Thanks for sharing, Wendy!

    1. Wendy says:

      You’re welcome, Andi – my pleasure :)

  9. Carol says:

    I love this wonderful place :) How I wish to spend my vacation here with my family.

    1. Wendy says:

      Carol: It is a wonderful place.

  10. Oh wow, this was a fantastic post and what a great trip! We love our local (Atlanta) raptor center and by “we”, I mean our four year old is obsessed. And who wouldn’t be? Such amazing animals.

    1. Wendy says:

      Pam: So glad you have a center near you. There were quite a few kids at this one…and yes, they seem to love it!

  11. Beth Kephart says:

    Loving this, as I do love all things birds. (hello!)

    1. Wendy says:

      Beth: Hello right back :) You would have loved this place!