Cascades Raptor Center

About Cascades Raptor Center

Speo, the Burrowing Owl CRC is a 501c3 non-profit nature center and wildlife hospital founded in 1987. In its first few years, the educational programs of the Raptor Center only took birds to schools and public events, but in early 1994, CRC moved to its current location on a wooded hillside in southeast Eugene and opened to the public.

CRC's Philosophy - Because we are both an educational and a medical facility, we have some important distinctions to make. We conduct public education activities both on and off-premises. The Nature Center is open to members and the general public six days a week, as well as by appointment or for field trips and group tours on other days or at other times. We also have an annual Earth Day Celebration in the Spring, when the whole facility is open to members and their guests. However, only the non-releasable birds are viewable; the rehabilitation birds are never on display, even to their finders who might want to see how they are doing or to volunteers' family or other visitors.

The birds come first at CRC, and the hospital patients are stressed by contact with humans. Staff interaction with them is kept to a bare minimum and the hospital, mouse and chick buildings, and outside rehabilitation cages are always off limits to visitors. Besides the stress to the birds from human contact, it is also against the law to display wildlife undergoing rehabilitation. The Nature Center's permanent resident, non-releasable birds are held under special permits for educational purposes and their large outside enclosures allow them to keep a distance from visitors.

Nature Center - Enhancing Appreciation, Respect and Stewardship through Public Education
With over 60 non-releasable birds of 30 native species - hawks, owls, eagles and more - our Nature Center has an unparalleled ability to engage visitors of all ages. These permanent resident birds are housed in large outdoor aviaries on our wooded hillside property and are an integral part of our educational mission to create awareness and respect, and to foster care of the wild world. School groups, scout troops, hikers, birders and the general public come from all over Oregon and the western US to see the wide variety of native raptors here on display.

Wildlife Hospital - Rescue, Rehabilitation, Release
CRC works with up to 200 orphaned sick, and injured raptors each year, using the highest standards of medical treatment and care possible. Most birds presented for care are suffering from injuries either directly or indirectly human-caused. They collide with vehicles, power lines, windows and fences. They are caught in traps, barbed wire, or fishing line. They are shot, poisoned (either directly or through eating poisoned prey), or had their nest sites destroyed by landscaping, logging, or construction. CRC's goal is to release them back to the wild: healthy and strong, ready to take their place in the wild population. We've worked with over 2500 birds in the last 17 years, returning nearly 1300 to the wild.

Cascades Raptor Center is a member of the following organizations:

ANCA - Association of Nature Center Administrators
AZA - Association of Zoos and Aquariums
EEAO - Environmental Educators Association of Oregon
IAATE - International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators
IWRC - International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council
MUSE Museums of Springfield and Eugene
NAO - Non-Profit Association of Oregon
NWRA - National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
RRF - Raptor Research Foundation

  ANCA Member

Cascades Raptor Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (Federal ID No. 93-1038827) dedicated to wildlife rescue and public education to enhance appreciation, respect, and stewardship of the natural world.


CRC logo art by Jeanne Hammond-Elliott.  Drawings by Barbara Gleason & Karl Edwards.  Photographic sources noted as provided.