In Shawnee Oklahoma I had the awesome opportunity to visit an eagle aviary. The aviary belongs to the Shawnee Absentee tribe of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Eagles hold a special place in the nation’s culture and legends. The eagle is known as God’s messenger and feathers play an important cultural and religious role. As such the CPN can use naturally molted feathers. The eagles there have been injured and cannot be rehabilitated so this aviary saves them. They are open for tours by appointment only, but it is definitely worth the effort.
Although most of the birds there are bald eagles they also have a golden eagle which is gloved trained and brought out for their presentation. They also were taking care of an owl on a screened in porch when I visited. At the end of the presentations, tourists are allowed to take pictures with the golden eagle, everyone in our group was too scared to until I did, and then several others ventured forward as well.
They are truly majestic birds, and I had the cool opportunity to feel a little bit of the power he had in his wings because he flapped them behind my head.
It’s two sisters who run the aviary and they have gone through a lot to get it open and keep it afloat. There are a lot of government hoops to go through as well as the need for funds, but they are doing an amazing work for the birds as well as their tribe. It’s a very friendly open place, we stayed and watched the eagles for quite some time, including the two kept separately which had mated and built a nest together.
I would recommend a visit to anyone in the area! It’s an amazing opportunity to get an upclose view of these majestic creatures.
Unfortunately, I visited last December and so I don’t remember a lot of the stories, but we were told the names and histories of all the birds there. My favorite was the couple that had begun ‘courting’.
Interestingly enough, it’s actually the female which is larger than the male, she’s on the right in this picture. That is the biggest distinguishing factor between the sexes.
I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do!