Sunday, February 24, 2008

National Eagle Center

This afternoon, my spousal unit and I visited the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN. A couple of other bird bloggers have posted about their recent visits to the NEC and even though I live less than 50 miles away, I have never been there.
It's quite a beautiful facility, located right on the Mississippi River in the heart of downtown Wabasha. There are live eagles on display at all times. Here's a couple of close-ups of Angel. She's 6 years old.

Just off the main lobby, there is a live eagle exhibit area where the eagles spend most of their days. The Center has 3 resident Bald Eagles: Harriet, Columbia, and Angel.

Here are a couple photos of Harriet.

They also have a Golden Eagle in residence. I don't know the name of that bird.....but it was quite magnificent also.

Here's a little video of Angel watching some eagles that were flying over the river outside of the Center. You can almost sense her frustration as she looks away from the window....she can see the other birds, but knows she can't fly out and join them.
The woman working there said that Angel sometimes gets quite upset when she sees eagles flying past outside. We could hear Angel calling and that's what drew us over to see what she was so upset about (I was too late to get a movie of her calling to the outside eagles).

The Center has a couple of outside observation decks and we were lucky enough to see several eagles outside--flying and perched in trees. Wabasha is located at the confluence of the Chippewa and Mississippi rivers, so there is always open water, making this area quite desirable for eagles and other waterfowl. We also saw several female Common Mergansers and I managed to also get a picture of this Common Goldeneye.

So if you're ever in the Wabasha area and have an hour or so of extra time, please be sure to visit the National Eagle Center. The chance to learn more about Bald Eagles and see them up close is definitely worth the small admission price of $6.00.


Meggie said...

Looks like a great field trip, Ruthie. I'll mention it to my time he is visiting in MN, perhaps he and the kids can go. Great photos, especially of Harriet

Beth said...

Oh thank you! Another reason to visit Minnesota! What a pretty face on Angel.

Jayne said...

What a wonderful place Ruthie. Thanks for taking us along and introducing us to Angel and her friends!

Mary said...

I saw bald and golden eagles at the raptor center but I've never seen one in the wild. I think poor Angel looks depressed. I can't help but feel sorry for her.

Nice trip, Ruthie! It looks like a beautiful place.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Meggie,
I think your brother and the kids would really enjoy it. They also have cool activities geared towards kids. This is a really scenic area in the summer too.

Hi Beth,
Let me know when you're visiting--I'll meet you there!

Hi Jayne,
You can tell they're big when you see them flying around, but seeing them up close makes you realize what a magnificent bird they really are.

Hi Mare,
Usually there are more eagles flying around this area, but we saw only 4 or 5 yesterday.
I felt sorry for Angel too, she was really tugging to try and get a better look out the window.

Richard said...

I agree, Angel looks depressed. Great pictures and a nice way to spend time on your weekend.

Trixie said...

That looks like an amazing facility. Maybe someday I'll get to Minnesota and we can go! Thanks for showing us your visit.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Richard,
It was a nice Sunday afternoon drive....too bad the sun didn't stay out.

Hi Trixie,
While I was there I thought of Dave's Bird TLC and tried to imagine what it must have been like with over 40 wild eagles they had to clean a few weeks ago. Just one eagle made here made a lot of noise!

Marsha said...

Oh how fun to see! We haven't been there since the new center was built...might have to take another roadtrip :-)