Take a walk on the wild side at Carolina Raptor Center's Raptor Trail.
Catch wonder by the tail with our formal and informal education programs. Children 3 to 93 will delight the science and natural history of 38 raptor species and how they have inspired human invention.
Staff and volunteers at this hidden hospital in the woods treats over 900 injured and orphaned birds a year – more than any other US raptor center. Over 70% are released back into the wild!
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Staff and Volunteers take eagles to the hack tower to learn how to live on their own. File photos.
Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude. – Arthur Schopenhauer
Reintroduction of Bald Eagles into the Wild
At around six weeks of age, the eaglets of CRC are moved from their enclosure and relocated to an artificial nest called a hack tower located off the property. The parent birds remain in the aviary on our display trail. The eaglets are fed through a food chute until they are old enough to start making flights, typically around 10-12 weeks of age.
The doors to the tower are opened when the eaglets are 8-10 weeks old. Though the young eaglets may leave at this point if they are ready to fly, many of the birds can be observed perching on the outside of the tower flapping their wings off and on for several days prior to taking their first big flight. Our staff continues to put food inside the tower as long as the eaglets continue to return to their artificial “nest.” This enables the birds to practice their hunting skills but not go hungry if they fail at their first few attempts. When the birds are comfortable hunting and being on their own, they stop returning to the hack tower.
Bald Eagles In the Wild
Bald eagles are becoming more plentiful in North Carolina. More than 100 active nests are monitored by biologists every year now and that number keeps growing. The best places to see bald eagles in North Carolina include Jordan Lake near Raleigh, Badin Lake near Albemarle and Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge in the eastern part of the state. Locally, eagles can be seen at many locations on the Catawba River system, including Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, and even Mountain Island Lake (in Charlotte’s backyard).
Learn about the history of Eagle Nesting at Carolina Raptor Center here.
Meet the eaglets that have been released. More info.