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Eugene Raptor Rehab Facility Sees Biggest Number Of Birds Yet

Today, two rehabilitated Northern Harriers were released outside Eugene.  It’s all part of what’s been quite the unprecedented year for the Cascades Raptor Center.


Two male raptors, with long legs and distinctive owl-like faces huddled inside an open carrier at the Andrew Reasoner Wildlife Preserve. One finally flew off…


Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
The second of two Northern Harriers bursts out of a carrier, and flies off to freedom.

…and then, the second one took flight, too.


Uli Streicher of the Cascades Raptor Center said both birds were raised for five weeks there, after their ground nest was exposed by a lawnmower.

“Must be an amazing feeling, to be first time out in the open air.”

Among those watching was Joe Scott, head of Team Traditional Ecological Knowledge ( TTEK.)

Northern harrier at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge/ Photo: Tom Koerner/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mtn-Prairie / Flickr.com/Public Domain

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“As tribal people, seeing a sacred animal flying through the air here is inspiring and beautiful.”

Robin FitzClemen, an animal care volunteer at the Center, said so far 2020 has seen 294 intakes, or birds brought in. That’s almost twice the amount at this time last year. The pandemic may be a factor, but researchers aren’t sure yet.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Uli Streicher (center) talks to Crystal and Joe Scott (on either side of Streicher), members of TTEK.

"We think people are spending more time around their homes so they're more likely to find injured birds and are perhaps more ready to help," said FitzClemen.  "There is variability year to year with the birds based on conditions, and it does seem like this was a good year for bird, but it definitely seems that with the pandemic people are more ready to go out of their way to help out wildlife."

WEB EXTRA: Watch two Northern Harriers released by Cascades Raptor Center staff:

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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