Monday, January 16, 2012

Grey Snow Eagle House in Perkins, Oklahoma

Today's Oklahoman features a great story and video (below) about the Grey Snow Eagle House in Perkins, Oklahoma. This eagle rehabilitation facility was created and is run by the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, with funds from the Tribe and from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. According to the Tribe's website,
The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma developed an eagle rehabilitation program to protect injured eagles and increase community awareness of wildlife and Native American culture. The Bah Kho-je Xla Chi (Grey Snow Eagle House) was completed in January 2006 through funds provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) and the Iowa Tribe. . . . 
As of November 2011, the Grey Snow Eagle House houses 35 non-releasable eagles (7 Golden Eagles and 28 Bald Eagles) which are cared for by an Aviary Manager, 6 staff members and volunteers.  The aviary manager is a USFWS certified eagle rehabilitator and an Iowa Tribal Elder. The Tribe has successfully rehabilitated eight Bald Eagles and released them back into the wild.  To date, the Iowa Tribe has received +6700 visitors from around the world.
The website is terrific. It includes bios of all the eagles currently at the facility, including EetodoLuckyHin TugaPete, and Woody. They have also compiled several videos showing eagles as they are released from rehabilitation. And there are a bunch of pictureseagle facts, and other links about eagles and the rehabilitation facility. Information about visiting the Eagle House can be found here.

The story in the Oklahoman features Victor Roubidoux, wildlife manager for the Eagle House. I love his description of the eagles:
“All day long, they'll just sit because we're here and they know when we leave at 10 after 5,” Roubidoux said, adding that there are cameras in each of the various flight cages and mews. “When we leave, they'll get down and they'll be crunching the green two-liter bottles. We have tennis balls in there, they'll be playing with those. Some put one under each talon and walk on them.  
“They'll do all that when they know we're not here. Just like a bunch of kids, when the parents are gone, they're out playing.”
Mr. Roubidoux adds:
“They have their own personalities,” he said. “They'll have their off days. They get up on the wrong side of the perch, I guess, just like we get up on the wrong side of the bed. They'll be grouchy and gripey and then the next day, everything is OK, they're sitting by each other being real social.” 
You can follow the Grey Snow Eagle House on its Facebook page. I'm adding this to my list of amazing places to visit when I go to Oklahoma.

Enjoy the video.

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