On the evening of September 29th, King Estate winery hosted Cascades Raptor Center’s 2nd Annual Benefit Dinner. The benefit’s 93 guests enjoyed a 5 course meal with wine pairings, and got the opportunity to get up close and personal with a few of CRC’s resident birds of prey, like Dmitri the Eagle Owl.
This year, the focus of the event was to introduce CRC’s Flight Training Arena Project and to raise funds towards construction costs. CRC regularly receives phone calls from the public inquiring about flight shows, which, without a dedicated space, they are currently unable to provide. Regular flight opportunities would not only attract more visitors to their nature center (which already sees 15,000+ general public visitors annually) and greatly enhance the visitor experience, it would also provide irreplaceable enrichment and training benefits to the wildlife hospital’s resident education birds.
BNOW 84 and BNOW 85 are sister Barn Owls that were found in Salem. Cascades Raptor Center (their rehabilitator) uses names like BNOW 84 & 85 to avoid getting too attached to the birds of prey that they release back to the wild. These two baby owls found on June 5th after they fell from their nest into a stack of hay bales at only a few days old. They were taken to Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center in Salem and then transferred to Cascades Raptor Center on June 8th. The owlets had excellent nutrition but had some developmental problems, possibly from their eggs not being turned by the parents or from being lodged in the hay bales. BNOW 84 was bow-legged and BNOW 85′s legs were sticking out and she was reluctant to bend her knees. Her wing tips were sticking out also.
After being treated at Cascades Raptor Center for over two months, the owlets were ready to be released back into the wild at King Estate. King Estate is an ideal environment for Barn Owls because there is plenty of prey, room to roam, and no harmful pesticides. King Estate has nesting boxes for owls and other birds of prey around the estate where the owls are released. Once they are placed in the boxes and settle in for a couple hours, the door is opened and they are free to fly into the night.
Below Carrie Sigloh, Operations Coordinator, and Erland an intern from Norway, release the rehabilitated sister owlets at King Estate Winery on August 27th, 2012.
Last September, King Estate vineyard workers noticed an injured Red-tailed Hawk on the estate. Volunteers from the Cascades Raptor Center quickly rescued the bird, which had an infected foot caused by a prey bite. Four months and one amputated toe later, the hawk proved that it was well enough to return home to King Estate where it and other birds of prey play a vital role providing natural pest control. Owls, hawks, and other raptors thrive on our 1,033 certified organic acres because there is no chance of poisoning through the food chain, and there is plenty of room to roam. King Estate Winery and Eugene’s Cascades Raptor Center are proud to hold a unique partnership that allows orphaned and rehabilitated birds of prey a second shot at life in the wild world.
Our friend Laurin Huse, the Rehabilitation Director at Cascades Raptor Center, arrived at King Estate Winery on a breezy but sunny day with four boxes. Each box contained a rehabilitated 4-month-old barn owl that came to the Cascades Raptor Center as an orphan. Some baby birds were only days old when they arrived at the center. Once they arrived at CRC the birds were paired with an adult owl foster mom who taught them everything they needed to know to survive in the wild. When they proved they can survive in the wild by demonstrating their ability to catch live prey in a specialized hunting enclosure, these young owls got the opportunity to return to the wild.
Kit and Laurin from Cascades Raptor Center were out last week to release some American Kestrels. The Kestrels are placed in a nesting box, and a mesh screen is taped over the door. In order to calm down and become acclimated to their new surroundings, the Kestrels stay in the box with the screen on for 2-3 hours.