Cascades Raptor Center

Since leaving the center in 2007 I have made it a point to go back the last couple of years for their Annual Earth Day Open House Celebration.

It’s the largest event of the year for the center and let me just say that it is fun for all. On top of all the beautiful birds there is music, dance, food and numerous kids activities going on (which, might I add, is super fun for adults too!) 

If you just so happen to be in Eugene this Sunday I recommend you stop in… won’t be disappointed…..I promise! It’s been going on for 15 years now…they know what they are doing. I’m not kidding.

below is an image and text i have copied from their website: 

you may have better luck just going to the website since the copy and paste ain’t all it’s cracked up to be in this here blurbb….


Cascades Raptor Center Image

Sunday, April 26th, 2009
10:00am – 5:00pm

Join Cascades Raptor Center staff and volunteers for their signature fundraising event of the year, the 15th Annual Earth Day Celebration! This event celebrates the wild world and the wildlife with whom we share it. Enjoy live acoustic music, Native American storytelling, behind-the-scenes glimpses, delicious food from Ritta’s Burritos and Divine Cupcakes, fun and educational activities and crafts for people of all ages and the opportunity to admire Oregon’s magnificent raptors up-close in a lovely wooded setting.

<!– Scheduled Musical Performances
[11 AM-Noon]
[Noon-1 PM]
[1-3 PM]
[4-5 PM]

Admission for the Earth Day Celebration is $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for children.

Event shuttles will run every 15 minutes from Spencer Butte Middle School parking lot, on 46th between Fox Hollow and Donald, from noon onwards.


White-Tailed Kite not Kiting…..

Bird.White Tailed Kite

White-Tailed Kite Kiting…..

Some species of eagle have been shown to be able to detect the movements of prey animals more than a mile away.”

~Scott Weidensaul (The Raptor Almanac)


The nests of eagles, especially sea-eagles, grow in size with each new year and layer of material. The bald eagle makes what are probably the largest nests built by single pairs of birds…. . and eagle nests are far and away the heaviest. One famous nest in Vermilion, Ohio, occupied for thirty-five years, weighed more than two tons when its tree gave way at last in 1925. Another bald eagle nest, this one in Florida, holds the record for the greatest size of any raptor nest-nine and a half feet across and twenty feet deep; its weight was not recorded. Nests of those proportions represent the work of generations of eagles; newer nests are more commonly five to seven feet wide and about as deep.”

~Scott Weidensaul (The Raptor Almanac)

i mean, whoa. right……

…..”more than a mile”…..”nine and a half feet across and twenty feet deep”…..

just …. whoa.

not to mention Le Eagle below here…BELOW is like WHOA.


Falcons take the trophy for being fast-flying acrobats in the sky….They are equipped with long, slender pointed wings and a long tail which allows them to maneuver about the air seeking their prey.

These guys have what is called a ‘mandibular notch’, or tomial tooth, which serves as an important tool when it comes to hunting. Their beak looks similar to that of a can opener at the end, and acts as such as well. It fits between the neck vertebrae of their prey allowing them to sever the spinal cord.

below is a picture of a Male American Kestrel’s ‘tooth’….The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America. I have a real affinity for this bird right here….he is a resident at the Cascades Raptor Center…his name is Puck and he is love.

Bird.American Kestrel 

**Fun Facts….**

**The Gyr (Jeer) Falcon is the largest falcon in the world.

 **the Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird in the world….they have been estimated to reach speeds of around 200-300mph when doing what is referred to as a ‘stoop’ dive….

check it out…..this will whoa you.

(i hope you can swim. cause i'm about to get deep......)

Yowzas Bowzas. You’z on my Trowzas Rowzas.

.the words above have nothing to do with anything.

.the images below have everything to do with something.

Bird.White Tailed KiteBird.White Tailed KiteBird.White Tailed Kite

 (White-Tailed Kite)

One of the main reasons owls have such incredible hearing is that their ears are asymmetrical (meaning that one ear is higher than the other). This allows them to pinpoint their prey’s location by taking in sound differences from their right and left ears. Their facial disk acts as radar that guides sounds into the ear openings.

The Great Gray Owl has exceptional hearing. Their habitat tends to be in colder climates where snowfall is prominent. About 80-90% of their diet is made up primarily of rodents, which they are able to hear below ~ 1-2ft of snow cover.

The truly incredible thing about these guys is that their feet are SUPER tiny in comparison to their body, but despite the size of their feet they are able to punch through the snow to grab their prey.

the below image is of a Great Gray Owl at the Cascades Raptor Center. This guy has been with the center since 2005. It was recently determined that he is releasable. He is going to get another shot in the wild.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend time around him. They are a rare sight to see.

Fly Free Friend. Fly Free.

Bird.Great Gray Owl

the Northern Harrier is the only Harrier in North America (say that 38 times fast….seriously…do it….)

this is an image of a male Northern Harrier….which is one of the very few raptors that you can distinguish their sex by the color of their plumage. Northern Harrier males are grey in color, whereas the females are a brown/cinnamony color.

Raptors have what is termed as “Reverse Sexual Dimorphism“…males and females typically look alike, however, in the raptor world females are, typically, larger than males….there are quite a few theories why this is so – one, amongst many, reasons the female is thought to be larger because they spend most of their time protecting the eggs/young in the nest….

These guys share the same habitat as the short-eared owl. They are also known as marsh hawks….unlike other hawks, the Northern Harrier relies on sound, as well as sight, for hunting. They tilt their head to the side when flying over marsh, or grasslands, and their facial disk, like that of an owl, helps to transmit sound for them to locate their prey.

.good stuff.

Bird.Norther Harrier

it’s been awhile since i’ve talked about Raptor Land, so I’m a bit rusty….and all over the place..but this gives you a bit of an idea of how incredibly incredible these birds are…..they never cease to amaze me….never.

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