|Sitka Tours Bus|
|Alaska Raptor Center, Sitka Alaska|
According to their website, The Alaska Raptor Center's Mission is "To provide medical treatment for injured bald eagles and other birds, to teach people about Alaska’s birds and environmental conservation and to conduct bald eagle research."
Started in the backyards of two residents of Sitka in 1980, the center has grown and now provides medical care and rehabilitation for 100-200 birds each year. Many of the birds are found in Alaska, but some have been transported from other parts of the US. The goal is to release them back into the wild, but unfortunately sometimes their injuries leave permanent damage that would prevent them from having a reasonable chance of survival. The center has over 20 resident birds that could not be released. These birds are used to educate visitors to the center and children in schools around the country. Other birds that can't be released are placed in zoos, with other educational organizations or in captive breeding facilities around the country. The offspring of captive-bred eagles are raised and released to help restore wild populations.
The center moved to their current 17 acre facility in 1991 and it is open daily for tours from May through September (hmmm, that coincides with the cruise ship season).
|Bald Eagle Flight Training Enclosure - Alaska Raptor Center|
|The Bald Eagle Flight Training Center|
This is another view of the Flight Training Center which shows the creek and pond.
|Bald Eagle at the Flight Training Compound at the Alaska Raptor Center|
After observing the eagles in the Flight Training Center, we were led to a large meeting room where we were shown a film about the Alaska Raptor Center and a staff member brought in one of the resident eagles for us to meet.
I didn't get a good photo of the bald eagle we were introduced to because we were asked not to use the flash on our cameras while the bird was in the room. After the end of the presentation, I went outside to see the outdoor aviaries where there were more birds, including golden eagles, ravens, falcons, hawks and owls.
|A Hawk at the Alaska Raptor Center - Sitka, AK|
|Informational Sign at the Alaska Raptor Center|
The outdoor enclosures included educational signs with information about each species.
|Great Horned Owl at the Alaska Raptor Center|
|Snowy Owl at the Alaska Raptor Center|
|Northern Pygmy Owl at the Alaska Raptor Center|
|Saw-whet Owl at the Alaska Raptor Center|
|Forest Trail at the Alaska Raptor Center|
|Close-up of a Bald Eagle at the Alaska Raptor Center - Sitka, AK|
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