Meet the Birds

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Not all birds who make their way to Blue Mountain Wildlife can be released. The situations and behaviors of some unreleasable birds, though, make them perfect education birds. Blue Mountain Wildlife houses a variety of education birds, using them to teach people about the importance of these raptors. Some you may meet at an education presentation, while others you will meet if you tour our Pendleton facilities. Get a preview of our ed birds here.

Red-tailed Hawk, Ruby

Ruby, Red-Tailed Hawk
Why Unreleasable: Hit by car, Wing injury

At 26+ years old, Ruby is educating her second generation of students. In the wild, this would be very old. Here at the center, where Ruby is fed daily, she could easily live into her 30s. With her beautiful tail — you guessed it, it’s red! — she is a favorite among students. Red-tailed hawks are one of the most common raptors in North America. You may see them sitting road-side or soaring with that distinctive tail.

helen with mouse

Helen, Barn Owl
Why Unreleasable: Fell out of nest, Mostly blind

Known for her “dancing,” Helen is a fan favorite. In reality, Barn Owls “dance” to better assess where you are in space. In a raptor’s mind, you’re either something to eat, or something to be eaten by! Barn owls are in their own family, making their habits and biology very different from that of all other North American owls. For example, Barn Owls are the only known owl to be able to hunt in complete darkness, by sound alone.


Sage, Great Horned Owl
Why Unreleasable: Puncture wound, Blind in one eye

Born in 1994, Sage is another old-timer. His large right pupil usually catches people’s attention, as does his 180-degree head rotation (though he could actually turn his head 270-degrees). Unlike barn owls and other species of owl, the Great Horned Owl call is the stereotypical owl hoo hoo-HOO hoooo hoo.

Barbary Falcon, NikkiNikki, Barbary Falcon
Why Unreleasable: Injured falconry bird

Nikki is unusual in that she is not native to Eastern Oregon. However, she is a skilled imitator of a local raptor, the Peregrine Falcon, looking almost identical to the native species. Peregrine falcons are the fastest animal on the planet, capable of diving at speeds of over 240 mph. Due to injury, however, Nikki cannot fly.

Yoda, American KestrelYoda, American Kestrel
Why Unreleasable: Imprinted on humans, Missing a toe

American Kestrels are another common North American roadside raptor. Yoda is about 4 years old and can fly, but is imprinted on humans and therefore cannot be released. Yoda is considered one of our cutest education birds, but don’t be fooled — though she is small, she is still strong and much quicker than you!


Oli, Northern Saw-whet Owl
Why Unreleasable: Imprinted on humans

Oli is both our youngest and our newest education bird, having joined the crew in winter 2016-17 at 2 years old. Northern Saw-whet owls are the third smallest owl found locally, with only the Flammulated Owl and the Northern Pygmy-Owl being slightly smaller. If you’re lucky, when you visit you may hear Oli’s call, a charming one reminiscent of a rocket ship take-off.

Patriot & LynnPatriot, Bald Eagle
Why Unreleasable: Hit by car, Can’t fly

Though often thought of as fierce predators, bald eagles mostly eat fish and steal meals from other raptors. At the center, though, Patriot gets fed rats and quail. In most species of raptor, including bald eagles, females are larger than males. Average size for a male, Patriot weighs about 8 pounds.

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Location: 71046 Appaloosa Lane, Pendleton, Oregon 97801
Phone: 541.278.0215

2017 Blue Mountain Wildlife.  All rights reserved.