Mission: The George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center (Sutton Center) was founded in 1983 with the mission of finding cooperative conservation solutions for birds and the natural world through science and education. The Sutton Center is a private, nonprofit organization located near Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and has been affiliated with the Oklahoma Biological Survey in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma since 1997.
The Sutton Center has become a leader in avian research and conservation and has conducted intensive, conservation-oriented, ecological field research on declining grassland birds, developed and applied techniques for the reintroduction and monitoring of Southern Bald Eagles, managed the successful captive breeding of endangered species and performed bird surveys across the world. In addition, the Sutton Center boasts several educational outreach programs using live birds and interactive, internet technology that reach tens of thousands of students and adults each year.
Results: Between 1984 and 1992 the Sutton Center raised and released 275 Southern Bald Eagles in the southeastern U.S. Bald Eagle eggs were removed from nests in Florida and transported to our captive breeding facility in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Once at our captive breeding facility, the eggs were incubated, hatched, and the resulting eaglets were raised and released in high quality habitat in five southeastern states. In many cases, the captively-raised Bald Eagles have returned to their release sites to establish territories and nests.
Each year we conduct aerial and ground surveys in the vicinity of Oklahoma release sites to determine nest occupancy rates and productivity. Since 1990, the number of Bald Eagle nests in Oklahoma has increased almost annually to a record 55 nests in 2005. We believe these increases are a direct result of our restoration program, as adult eagles are now returning to breed in the areas where they were released.
In addition, eagles released by the Sutton Center have been observed nesting in Kansas, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. As fledglings from these nests reach adulthood, we expect the number of nests to continue to increase.
Partially as a result of our efforts here at the Sutton Avian Research Center, the Bald Eagle population in most areas of the U.S. had increased sufficiently for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the Bald Eagle from the Endangered Species List in June of 2007!
To see all of our work that has been done over the years, please follow this link: http://www.suttoncenter.org/pages/researchconservation
There is a side-bar on the left side of the page that lists all of our work.
Programs: Promote conservation, education, and research of endangered, rare, and under studied birds.
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I have been volunteering at the Sutton Avian Research Center for over 8 years now and it has been a wonderful experience. I have helped with live shows, maintenance, construction, feeding the birds and countless other projects. If you want to volunteer at a place that has a huge impact on the environment and wildlife conservation, then look no further. The Sutton Avian Research Center is the place for you.