When you are homeschooling, the world is your classroom. My daughter and I have homeschooled a very short time, but we have already found this is true … and inspiring. Taking advantage of the varied learning opportunities around us has become a fun challenge. There is a range of field trips and adventures from which a home school kiddo can learn!
One day last week, we ditched the science workbook and headed to Eugene (Oregon) to check out the Cascades Raptor Center. I had heard about this place about a year ago, but never found the time to make the trip – for us, about an hour and a half down the freeway.
RAPTORS: Hawks, Owls, Eagles, Falcons, Etc.
My daughter has always enjoyed learning about raptors – especially owls. In 1st grade her class did a unit on owls, and ever since she dissected her first pellet she’s been hooked. I knew she would enjoy a break from her General Science studies to focus on a bunch of cool birds of prey. So we packed a lunch and headed out to get up close and personal with some new feathered friends.Falcons, eagles and owls ... at Cascade Raptor Center! @raptortweets Click To Tweet
The Cascade Raptor Center is not a big, fancy “theme park” type of attraction. It is a working wildlife hospital, with an educational nature center on site. The birds’ habitats spread out along short but winding trails that branch off from the office/gift shop/information center. Talks are given by volunteer handlers outside the birds’ habitats throughout the day, educating and answering questions. We were able to hear a talk about a snowy owl in which my daughter was particularly interested.
“Nestled on a wooded hillside in Eugene, Cascades Raptor Center is a non-profit nature center and wildlife hospital specializing in birds of prey. CRC fosters respect, wonder, and stewardship of the natural world and our relationship to it through wildlife rehabilitation and public education.”
As we walked along the trails to view the birds in their large enclosed habitats, we saw many species of hawk, owl, falcon and eagle represented. If you want to see a bald eagle from about 10-20 feet away, this is the place – they have three eagles here! Each habitat displays information about the type of bird, the bird’s name, and story about how it came to live at CRC. Many of the birds were victims of injury from vehicles, power lines, storms, etc. None of them can be returned to the wild, which is always the goal of the wildlife hospital at CRC. So these birds become educational tools, for the public to learn about and enjoy.
As I read the different stories about what brought these birds here, I found that many of them came here from other states and wildlife rehabilitation agencies. When they can no longer benefit from other programs, they are sent here to see what can be done for them. If CRC cannot return them to the wild, they become residents in the nature center.
Some of them even have their own Facebook pages!
The Cascade Raptor Center:
- 32275 Fox Hollow Road, Eugene OR 97405
- Open Tuesday through Sunday; Summer Hours (April-October): 10 am to 4 6pm; Winter Hours (November-March): 10 am to 4 pm
- Seasonal admission rates
- Other hours, days, and groups by appointment