The soul of the Center is the resident live eagle ambassadors, charismatic megafauna that awe and inspire all those who meet them! There really is nothing like being so close, without barriers, to these magnificent creatures. The National Eagle Center experience not only offers this unparalleled experience, but it also fulfills its promise as "everything eagle" with many exhibits about the eagle's place in history, nature, and cultures around the world.
When I moved to Wabasha six years ago, I immediately became a volunteer at the National Eagle Center. I began with scooping poop and joyfully hung out in the mew in the presence of the eagle ambassadors, learning to answer visitors’ questions, to handle eagles and to present programs.
The part I find most rewarding and energizing of being a volunteer at the National Eagle Center is listening to visitors’ stories. Virtually all visitors enter our doors eager to share their own ‘eagle story’. Countless times I’ve laughed with folks indignantly sharing fishing tales when ‘the rascal eagle snatched up my big one!’ Our heads shake with wonder and pleasure as someone relates ‘I’ve lived in my house for decades, and now – now eagles live in my neighborhood, where there were none before.’
Every week brings visitors who are receiving medical treatment nearby. It is powerful to share the room with other creatures who have felt pain, known the loss of the pattern their lives had been expected to take, who made adjustments to a whole new world, yet who remain very much as they had been created: beautiful, majestic, unique. Eagle and human, individual, altered, survivor.
I’ve wept with parents grieving the loss of a child who had felt some special affinity with eagles and raptors. For the parent, the National Eagle Center can be part of an unfathomable journey of loss and hope; sharing in this is a rare, humbling privilege.
It is listening that makes every day different and new when I come to volunteer. Listen with me: Loud strident eagle calls. The amazement of people being close to an eagle. Bright joy encountering these American symbols in the wild. Hopeful healing. Resolute strengthening. Whispers of mourning. I listen, and learn.
People crossing the threshold don’t necessarily know the story they want to tell will be important to anyone else, but echoes of recounted narratives become part of the entire fabric of the experience shared here by visitors, staff, volunteers. Eagle stories in a multitude of voices are ephemeral treasures of the National Eagle Center.
The National Eagle Center is a Minnesota (and national) treasure! Visitors get to meet live eagles up-close and receive personal attention from the expert staff and volunteers. The facility is small, but you learn so much more than you expect. The daily programs are educational and fun and perfect for all ages. The location on the Mississippi River is beautiful! A visit to the center is a must for anyone who travels through southeastern Minnesota. You will not be disappointed!
If you love eagles, the National Eagle Center is a "must-see"! One of the most unique things about this interpretive center is the chance to be so close to the eagle ambassadors. The staff and volunteer naturalists are readily available to answer any questions and personalize your visit. The display and exhibit areas allow visitors of all ages to connect, not only with the eagles, but also the Mississippi River Wildlife Refuge and understand our impact on the environment. The live eagle programs are educational , engaging, and appropriate for all ages. Do yourself a favor and schedule a visit to the National Eagle Center!
Having grown up along the Mississippi and in the Winona, MN area, I thought I was quite familiar with eagles. Boy, was I wrong! The National Eagle Center has taught me so much more about these fantastic raptors! We now own a cabin in northern Wisconsin and have several eagles nesting on the lake. It's nice to be able to knowledgeably observe the behaviors we see. But the best thing about the National Eagle Center is how it helps my husband and me share these birds with our children.
We visit several times a year and have referred many, many people to the Center, always with enthusiastic thanks upon their return! The format is very engaging for adults and children alike. Whether we are attending a fascinating up-close educational presentation with a live bird and expert handler, watching the eagles up close in their indoor environment, using the hands-on exhibits around the Center, checking out the artwork they bring into their gallery, putting on an animal play in the children's theater, spotting eagles and watching them in their natural habitat on the Mississippi just outside the windows, fishing on the pier outside to stock food for the birds, or attending one of the many other programs the Center brings to Wabasha each year, we are constantly learning new things at each visit.
The staff at the Center is extremely knowledgeable and friendly and always on-hand to answer questions. You can tell that they love working with these birds!
If you are heading up the Mississippi, plan to stop. If you aren't planning to head up the Mississippi, make plans to make the National Eagle Center your destination!
I have visited the Eagle Center several times and enjoy it greatly. I have listened to the program on 4 occasions and learned new and interesting things from each of the different presenters. The setting of the Center is beautiful in all seasons and the eagles are fascinating. It is well worth a visit. Our grandchildren ages 5 through 11 have loved it. Treat yourself and stop in some time!
I am a proud friend, neighbor, Board member, and member of the National Eagle Center. I am so pleased to have such a culturally and environmentally relevant organization in the center our wonderful small town. As a community, we enjoy visitors from around the world in all seasons because of the common interest in eagles and the opportunity to seem them both up close and in their natural habitat. My children are excited to visit any chance we get and love to feel a part of the National Eagle Center as members. During annual "Soar With The Eagles" events and programming, we appreciate how eagles and other birds from around the world serve as ambassadors that help bring people together to learn and have fun exploring the natural world around us.
The passion for eagles, raptors, and nature at the National Eagle Center is central to everything they do. Their high level of engagement with individual visitors makes for a very personal experience, and the presence of the live eagle ambassadors makes a visit truly unforgettable! Creating an educational experience that excites visitors both young and old is challenging, and the National Eagle Center achieves that every single day for visitors that come from around the country and around the world. For a small organization, they make a big impression! There is a reason why so many people come back to visit again and again and again - the eagles and staff inspire people!
The National Eagle Center connects kids with the Mississippi River Wildlife Refuge, which most kids (and adults) don’t know exists. Experiencing nature helps the next generation to care about the Earth and the power we have to influence it for better or for worse. The National Eagle Center is the region’s most powerful environmental advocate.
My first visit to the National Eagle Center was during my first ever visit to Minnesota. Being a native of England and never having seen a wild eagle before, I was amazed at the opportunity cruise the Mississippi river around Wabasha and also learn about these majestic creatures from the wonderful staff at the NEC.
Fast-forward 5 years and I find myself a resident of Wabasha and a volunteer at this most excellent facility. Being a big city boy and having had no wildlife experience before, I was welcomed into the NEC fold and my education started. Within a few months I was ready to meet, greet and educate our visitors. The look on the faces of people as they enter the supermew and see just how close they can get to the national bird and other great predators is something that you never tire of seeing.
The facility itself houses a great collection of educational displays, artifacts and a gallery showing the work of local artists.
Daily programs and special events throughout the year enable visitors to experience a multitude of raptor and wildlife related things.
A truly wonderful place, no matter which side of the eagles you are standing.
We are a business (a toy store) down the highway from the National Eagle Center. We always recommend that our guests visit the NEC. From time to time we work with their staff on projects for the community. They are always professional and dedicated. Whenever we visit ourselves we are amazed at the experiences: standing near the majestic rescued eagles; listening to knowledgeable staff teach fascinating classes; and perusing the ever-changing displays about birds of prey, the Mississippi River, and the amazing eagle. The NEC is a well run nonprofit and a wonderful gift to our state.
The National Eagle Center provides the opportunity to view several eagles up close, within about 2 or 3 feet. I live on the backwaters of the Mississippi River and we have lost two eagle nests behind our house over the last year to high wind storms. They keep coming back to build again and it is delightful to have the Eagle Center educational programs to learn as much as possible about this majestic bird. I have attended at least six of their programs and learn something new each time. In the last class the instructor asked where people were from and I was amazed at the variety of states and countries represented in the audience. Don't miss this wonderful center in the midst of the most beautiful place in MN.