Friday, January 29, 2010

The Eagle Lady-Birds of Prey Presentation

Crested Caracara in Flight

American Kestrel

Great Horned Owl

Doris Mager and her Screech Owl

Al has a chance to hold the Crested Caracara

Here at Goose Island it is a birding paradise. Lots of people who come here are birders. They have a bird walk a few times a week at 8 am. It's not really my thing and it's a little too early for me. The other day our neighbor, Wayne (he and his wife Julie are camp hosts here) knocked on our door and said we can't miss the presentation they are having at 4 pm at the rec hall. He and his wife went last year and it was fasinating.

Well, we had nothing else to do, so we headed over to see what it was all about. Doris Mager was the presenter of this program. Doris is an amazing lady and she is a character we will never forget. She has been traveling all over the country visiting state parks, and schools, speaking about the importance of these birds. She travels with her birds in a her van. You may think it's no big deal, but this woman is in her 80's. She has been all over the world. She once stayed in an inactive bald eagle's nest for 6 days and 5 nights, not in protest, but to raise funds for an Audubon Center in Florida. We also learned that she bicycled across the U.S. when she was 60.

In 1983 she founded S.O.A.R. which stands for Save Our American Raptors. The purpose of this organization is to educate people regarding Raptures or Birds of Prey. She brought with her a Screech Owl, an American Krestel, a Crested Caracara and a Great Horned Owl. She presented to us each of these birds and told us their history. The Great Horned Owl has been with her for over 27 years since shortly after his birth. Many of her birds have been injured and many can't be returned to the wild.

Doris wrote a book titled "RJ: Tribute to a Golden Eagle" RJ was a very special Golden Eagle that was in her care for 15 years. RJ was her constant companion and her soul mate visiting many schools fascinating children and adults all around the country.

Doris Mager is one interesting lady. I believe she is around 83 yrs old and as you can tell, still very active. She returns every year to this park and stays in one of the campsites here in her custom van. I'm told she prefers to sleep in her van with her birds even when she is home and even though she has a house.


  1. That is one COOL lady. Although I don't believe I could sleep in a van with those big birds (aren't they noisy?) I guess they don't talk back or lie or stress you out so they're better than so many other life mates I guess. My hub and I like birding although we're not avid birders. I try to photograph all the new birds I see. It's a challenge to do so and then to identify them from a book or other photos. That Raptor presentation sounds like a great reason to get up early. Have fun at Goose Island.

  2. Great post Nita, I so enjoyed it! Al does not look like he is sure he should be talking to that bird. LOL

  3. Carol, Al actually flew the Owl and the CaraCara. I didn't get good pics of that, but you can see the CaraCara flying in the first pic. Doris allows for a lot of audience participation. The CaraCara is actually a type of Volcher, but isn't he/she beautiful! This bird is on the Mexican Flag.

    Terri, These birds are her life, so I don't think she minds the noise at all! If there are any state parks in your area, she may be there sometime. They brought in a bus load of people for one of her presentations.

  4. soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cool Ellie