Beak Week: Birds of Prey

Wildlife Images brought a few different birds of prey to campus for Beak Week! Photos by Qamuuqin Maxwell.

A red-tailed hawk, the official mascot of Southern Oregon University, made an appearance Tuesday along with three other birds of prey in the Raider’s Nest located in the Stevenson Union.

The birds, brought in by representatives of Wildlife Images Rehabilitation & Education Center in Grants Pass, were a part of “Beak Week,” a new event series put on by EPIC, a student activities group at SOU.

“Beak Week is a week of events celebrating Raider pride and is based on the spirit of the school,” said Danielle Mancuso, assistant director of Student Life for Involvement.

Wildlife Images provides treatment of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife and also offers educational programs on wildlife and environmental conservation for the general public, as well as for schools and organizations.

The red-tailed hawk, named “Beauty,” is blind in one eye and partially in another. She flew into the side of a building in Medford, leading her caretakers to believe that she had poor eyesight before the crash.

After caring for the bird and releasing it, Beauty ran into the same building again. Finally she was taken to a human eye doctor, who determined that Beauty suffered from scar tissue behind both eyes.

Beauty has been cared for at Wildlife Images ever since, said Cory Alvis, the education outreach coordinator for Wildlife Images.

“I’m one of the lucky few educators at the center,” she said proudly.

Alvis also talked about Aurora, a turkey vulture who roosted in the corner of the Raider’s Nest.

Aurora suffered from an eye injury in her left eye and was completely blind in her right eye.

The vulture garnered most of the attention from onlookers and admirers, as it occasionally rustled its wings energetically, plastering the wall behind it with specks of feathers.

A barn owl named Petri perched on the arm of Wildlife Images volunteer Jennifer Appleby, which was covered with a long leather glove to protect from the bird’s sharp talons, although Appleby said Petri could dig through the leather if she wanted to.

“She came to us as an egg, out of a clutch of four eggs found in the back of a truck inside a Petri cigar box,” said Appleby, explaining how the bird came by its name.

According to Appleby, the four eggs had been nestled in a haystack, which was loaded on the truck in Klamath Falls. The eggs were heavily jostled during the trip, and Appleby said Petri was lucky to have survived.

Erica Nunnelley, another Wildlife Images volunteer, introduced Augie, an Augur buzzard which was born in captivity at the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, Miss., near St. Louis. Also sporting a long leather glove for protection, Nunnelley said the buzzard species came from Africa and was a bird of prey.

For information on upcoming events related to Beak Week, contact Mancuso by email at or by phone at 541-552-8346.



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