The Cascades Raptor Center is sure to be a favorite destination for animal lovers! This rehabilitation center is home to 38 birds from various species. Each bird has its own unique story, personality and preferences. This impressive center offers both virtual and in-person experiences that are fun for the whole family! These programs can be purchased on their website, allowing interested parties to personalize their experience. Whether you need a fun and educational classroom field trip or are simply looking for something to do in the afternoon, the Cascades Raptor Center is an ideal destination.
Most of the birds residing at the preserve are victims of encounters (accidental or intentional) with humans. Nyx, for example, is a Barred owl that was hit by a car. This resulted in a brain injury that required rehabilitation. She still cannot hunt for herself and was socialized during rehabilitation, making it unsafe for her to be reintroduced into the wild. Some were victims of natural occurrences that left them without a way to survive independently in the animal kingdom. Amazon, for example, is a beautiful golden eagle that fell from her nest as a 1-month-old chick. This resulted in both her wings breaking. The right wing was able to heal, but the left one sustained such severe damage that it could not be repaired in a way that would allow her to fly.
Rehabilitative specialists work with the birds in many different ways and capacities: 1) Performing life saving procedures, and providing emergency care after accidents occur 2) Supporting birds through the rehabilitation and the healing process post-trauma 3) Feeding and retraining 4) Providing physical therapy. Some local veterinarians even volunteer their time to assist in emergency surgeries and provide medical care to the injured birds. Ultimately rehabilitative specialists have to decide if a bird can be reintroduced to the wild or if they will become a permanent resident.
Louise Shimmel founded the raptor center in 1987. The now large hospital and tourist attraction started out as a small organization that presented animals at events but was not open for visitors. It has grown to become one of the largest centers of it’s kind in the Pacific Northwest.
The raptor center puts on a variety of shows with their birds. Allowing participants to learn more about these birds and what they can do to help birds like these in the future. Guests can donate to the center and/or adopt a bird! Individuals are encouraged to adopt their favorite bird, paying an annual fee that comes with passess and perks for the “adoptive parents.” So if you find a favorite bird while watching one of the many shows or while touring the preserve, remember that you can donate to them personally!
If the Cascades Raptor Center left you wanting to spend more time in nature, then head north to Salem to see the Deepwood Museum and Gardens. This beautiful attraction will further add to your time in Oregon!