Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hello all,

We are still at Junction City, with another day to find something to do. We looked at the local brochures and found one entitled “Cascades Raptor Center.” They are a nature center and wildlife hospital specializing in birds of prey. We decided it would be fun to check it out. One thing I can say is that if you are in the area, stop in and see what is in the aviaries! It was well worth our time and admission cost.

When we got to the facility the main gate was closed, which is to be expected if you are 15 minutes before the scheduled opening. So we sat and just waited in the quiet woods at a trail head parking lot which was across the street.

I hope to be able to post the pictures of the owls and eagles that we took. The aviaries are mesh covered and that does not make for good pictures! They had a barn owl, great horned owl, northern saw-whet owl, burrowing owls, snow owl, golden eagles and bald eagles. There were a couple of buzzards but since we had seen so many when we were down in Florida, nothing new to say about them. There were also hawks and falcons.

(The eagle below seemed to be agitated by the helicopters above working on flood damage on a hiking trail.)

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Great horned owl, shown above.

All the birds with the exception of one was native to the Northwest. There were over 35 aviaries and each of them designed with branches and flying spaces for the birds that were housed. They had toys and other means of keeping the birds challenged while in captivity. If at all possible the birds are healed and rehabilitated to later be released into their native habitat. Those that can’t return to the wild have a home for life.

Did you know that there is a law that does not allow you to collect the feathers or body parts of native birds? I did not know that. Each aviary has a preliminary area where the keepers/volunteers can work from to avoid the birds from swooping down on the worker. In that area is a plastic bag where they gather the shed feathers. The feathers are then sent to a collection center. I searched the internet and was unable to find the exact location. I think somewhere around St. Louis. The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for administering the law. The law that applies to this is the Migratory Bird Act of 1918. This was written for the protection of migratory birds.

Due to some construction work on a trail that went up the side of the property of the bird sanctuary and across the hill top, there was a helicopter moving some large boulders. The birds were not happy about the noise. We could see why….the noise the helicopter makes would make one think of a giant bird of prey!

We got back and found out the part had arrived. (Ordered on Monday, overnight air and arrived today about 10:30???) It was installed and we were ready to go at 2 p.m. Given some thought, decided that we would spend one more night here, to make a full week. Tomorrow on to Eureka.

Weather has been co-operative, sunny, slight breeze but not hot.

We are watching the weather. Utah looks like no snow however the severe storm warnings and tornados through Oklahoma and Texas is a bit concerning. Then Al Roker mentions the high winds through the northeast. Since we have planned to take our time, I am sure we can time our driving to avoid the worst of the weather.

Now we will button up the motorhome and move on to Northern California. We will be in touch.

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