Every time I help with a wild bird that is being rehabilitated I think "thank goodness this place is here, or what would have happened to this bird?" Every bird, including the residents who could not be released, are given the best care. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and take the time to answer any question. From my experience everyone appreciates each other and are enthusiastic for the common goal - helping birds. The rewards are simple but wonderful; knowing that you helped save or care for an animal that needed some help.
The first time I went to Cascades Raptor Center I couldnt believe how majestic the birds were, and I got to see them up close! I have always been rather afraid of birds, but fell in love right then and there. I wanted more, so I signed up to volunteer. Boy have I learned a lot in 9 months! The facility is well run with lots of volunteer help like mine, and a small staff who can fix up a bird in their sleep. I especially love the hospital, where I am learning to repair broken wings, give fluids and food to birds that are injured, and watch magnificent birds heal and be released back into the wild.
I took a class on wildlife rehabilitation, where we learned to give medication and all about disease. It was an intensive 2 day class that was hard and wonderful at the same time.
I love being part of a team, even when it involves dirty work like cleaning up the mice and chick barn, shoveling gravel in the cages, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning up after our birds.
Raptors are beautiful creatures, and I am learning more every day here at Cascades. I get dirty, I get mad, I get poo on my shoes. But it is an experience I love. And the birds who get set free make it all worth it.
Volunteering at the Cascades Raptor Center since December of last year has been such an incredible experience for me. I was drawn to wildlife rehabilitation work, not really birds in particular, but I checked out their website and made the contact. Being an organization run by only three staff people and the rest volunteer, it's astounding how much is done by volunteers.
It is well-organized and the staff is always open to suggestions and new ideas.
I'm a certified bird geek now! The enthusiasm and dedication of the staff is contagious. They are open to questions, so that there is always an opportunity to learn new things on each shift.
The team effort of the volunteers downright blows me away. they have an amazing group of people volunteering there.
My main suggestion, if there was a way to do it, would be to offer a training as opposed to having volunteers train other volunteers. I feel that the training is variable depending on who trains you. Sometimes I am frustrated with things that aren't done as well as they could be. I feel that it could help if every volunteer was working from the same baseline of training.
If there was ever a place where you can go to be with great friendly people and with folks who know their birds, it's the CRC in Eugene, OR. Not only do they take the time to explain things to you, they genuienly care about everyone there. They accept people as they are and work with them and their strengths. They take a proactive approach to working together and are willing to help you understand how things work in "birdland." Being new to birds, I want to learn and the staff takes the time to help you without judging you. Specifically, they are there to help you help the birds by showing you how to care for them and how you can make a difference. They work with you and are willing to give you the time you need to learn. In a word they are "Awesome!"
The Cascade Raptor center is an earth friendly environment for our resident birds, and our visitors. I first came to the Raptor center looking for a fun and educational experience and I received much more than that. I met friendly people, birds, and I had an adventure. If I could re choose where I volunteer, well I wouldn't. From personal experience I know that the Cascade Raptor Center(CRC) recycles everything that we are able to recycle, we compost, and the center, in general, is outside. What I mean by this is that the birds feel the sunshine, the rain, and the snow. Our whole mission is to save and help birds that need our assistance. I believe CRC would be a great candidate for the Green Choice.
I started volunteering at the Raptor Center this year, and have been having a blast! The birds are incredible, the setting is beautiful, and the staff is passionate and committed. I only wish I had found out about this place sooner!
I was running late, but still had to stop to get Zach her treat. She had grown accustomed to them and started screaming as soon as she saw me get out of the car. She was the queen and I was her faithful servant-that much we had established. As I approached she began saying "Thank you" over and over, as was her custom. You see, Zach was a female Raven who has captured my heart. Sadly, she died suddenly in January from unknown causes. When I saw her last she was in an incubator. I had brought her a boiled egg-one of her favorites. To appease me, she pecked at it a little, but it was clear she had no appetite. I preeened her feathers and as I started to leave I told her to get better. She held my gaze as only a Raven can and I knew this was the last time I would see her. She died two days later. I love to volunteer at CRC because this type of relationship with the birds is understood and encouraged. As a natural consequence the birds receive excellent care because the voluteers have developed bonds with them and are highly motivated to provide the best care possible.
I came, I saw--and the birds conquered my heart! They are incredibly beautiful and, I think, very wise creatures. It's a great privilege to be so close to them, and I can see the love and trust between the birds and their handlers. I once watched a vulture perch on a handler's shoulder to eat its dinner (a vole or something similar). I couldn't believe how daintily it ate! The Center is a marvelous educational venue, and I only hope it will be able to expand both its enclosure and its outreach. It deserves all the financial resources it can get!
My husband and I are avid supporters of Cascades Raptor Center since we visted them 3 years ago and saw the wonderful work that they do. We have returned to visit every year and send donations throughout the year. The staff at CRC is always so knowledgeable and willing to share. We have felt very special when they have brought raptors for us to see outside the cages. We have a duty to help the raptors that have been harmed and CRC is stepping up to provide that help. It is one charity that we enjoy giving to often! Sincerely, Stacie & Ignacio
Cascades Raptor Center volunteers are at every event in town. It is thrilling to watch their educational programs and to watch the faces of the audience, especially the children. As volunteers provide information about the behavior, ecology and conservation needs of the raptors, the bird ambassadors mesmerize the audience. The volunteers are tireless in providing these programs, and their passion for and commitment to preserving these birds shines through. When they release rehabilitated birds, we get to watch. The media are also invited, and people of the community get to participate emotionally in the joy of seeing these beautiful creatures, that would have died otherwise, lift off into the sky. I cry each time I see this and that feeling bonds me to the birds and their future. It commits me to doing everything I can to keep the environment safe for wild creature survival. If one multiplies that feeling community-wide, the Cascades Raptor Center is doing an amazing job to help not only the birds but the environment overall. There is one last part to my experience with them. I thought that I would have time to volunteer in 2006 and was given the initial orientation for volunteers. It is there that I learned about the amazing amount of work it takes to rehabilitate raptors. Everything from raising and keeping a mouse colony in order to provide live food for the raptors to repairing or building cages is done daily, week after week, in order to rehabilitate the birds. I was unable to find the time to volunteer, but my heart is with the amazing people who volunteer at least one day a week, year after year.
This is the most amazing group of extremely dedicated people doing their utmost to both aid the raptors they care for in their rehabilitation, but also in their dual role as educators of the public. They bring birds to public events, a time-consuming effort, in order that people might see these fascinating birds up close, to awaken the urge to care for them to better protect the birds themselves and their habitats for future generations. I used to be able to physically provide time, but running my own business has prevented that recently, so I dedicate time to poignancy art work and creating images for their outreach efforts. This is the single organization that I've donated funds and time to in the past 4-5 years due to the outstanding, dedicated efforts of both staff and volunteers. Not only is their care of the birds they help outstanding, but their efforts to include members and reach out to the community is exemplary as well.
Staff and volunteers are passionately committted to the care and rehabiliation of raptors that have been damaged and unable to return to their habitat without the intervention of experts who can evaluate their chances of survival on their own. The Raptor Center provides rehabilitatation and care for the duration of their stay. If a raprot must remain at the Center, they are expertly cared for and used for education projects to enable the public to become familiar with this species. The center is successful in inspiring a devoted cadre of volunteers who assist with care and raise funds to sustain the Center and its mission. The Center does a superb job in all these undertakings and should be helped and encouraged to continue their efforts on behalf of our precious wildlife.