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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN

In SE Minnesota there is a nature center that I highly recommend... The National Eagle Center.


It's in downtown Wabasha.


The river overlook doesn't get any better than this!


The exhibits are some of the best I've seen and are excellent for the whole family.  Not only do you learn about eagles, you also learn about their environment in this part of Minnesota.

There are great educational displays...



Wow... I had no idea...



Nope! 


A cool exhibit of how large an eagle's nest can be.  Eagles build on top of their old nest each year, covering the debris from the nesting before.


If you go... make sure you look UP!

It seemed most people didn't until they saw Himself and I looking up.  Then they did too.


The gift shop is nice.  There is everything from cheap trinkets to beautiful artist pieces.

In another section there are 5 'ambassitor' eagles.  All were injured and cannot be released.


A resourceful bird.


And this is an angry bird!  He could see eagles flying over the river and was challenging them.

At certain times during the day, there are live eagle programs.  If you have a chance, it is definitely worth the time.


We were fortunate to have Bucky Flores as the presenter for our session.  I've attended a LOT of demonstration... and Bucky is one of the best speakers I've seen.

His co-presenter was the beautiful Columbia.


Before Bucky brought Columbia out, he demonstrated just how wide her wingspan is.


Columbia, an adult female bald eagle, hatched in 2001. She was injured in a vehicle collision that fractured her right shoulder. During treatment for her injuries, Columbia was found to have nearly twice the lethal dose of lead in her blood. Lead is extremely dangerous for eagles. Just a tiny amount of lead can be lethal in 4-5 days. Columbia was able to be treated for lead poisoning, but any damage already incurred would be irreversible.


There's the talons that can deliver a 400 psi squeeze.  I can tell you from my experiece in falconry class in Scotland, it is an amazing thing!

There was one part of the demo that was a bit disturbing (and in my opinion the audience - especially those with children - should have been warned about).  Not far into the lecture, a recently killed rat was given to Columbia.  She munched on it through the rest of the lecture.


Going...


... going...


... GONE!


"burp..."



Columbia




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