Our first visit to the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene, OR. We’ve been wanting to get over here for a couple of years now and finally had the opportunity to spend an evening with these amazing birds. This Gyrfalcon named Nike really grabbed my attention with her remaining eye and curiosity.
From CRC’s website:
Nike was rescued on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington in February 2005 by raptor researcher and bander Dan Varland, who had noticed she had an eye problem. Dan transferred her to the Wildlife Center of the North Coast near Astoria OR, with a badly infected eye. After stabilizing the bird and giving it a week on topical and systemic antibiotics, a veterinarian surgically removed the eye, as there was no chance of saving it.
Photographically, it was very challenging to get a good shot of her as we had the dense fencing of her cage, a bright back-light, and a rampant curiosity that kept her from holding still for more than a tenth of a second. I really wanted to show how her good eye contrasted against the spot where her left eye should have been. At some point, I must have made some sort of noise to get her to look right at me and present me with this gorgeous twinkle of sunshine from her eye.
After spending some time admiring the birds we decided we would have to visit once again when we wouldn’t be so pressured to outlast the sunset.
Go visit the Cascades Raptor Center.