Our first port to stop at on our Alaska cruise was in the small town of Haines. You probably haven’t heard of Haines (I hadn’t), but it was a charming place. I’ll tell you several things we saw and did there, but today I want to focus on where we spent our morning: The American Bald Eagle Foundation.
It was easy to get to the building, located at 2nd Avenue and Haines Highway, just a short walk from the boat dock. We entered into one of my favorite gift shops of the trip, full of unique items like eagle and deer Christmas ornaments and even some ornaments made from moose poop.
Natural History Museum
The Foundation is made up of a Natural History Museum, and that’s what we visited first. There is an impressive array of Alaskan animals there:
Stuffed (er, taxidermied?), of course.
I enjoyed seeing these animals up-close, since as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we didn’t see a lot of animals too closely during our trip.
There were several interns working at the Foundation while we visited. Here’s one, who gave an informative talk about the various animals. It was interesting! All the employees were quite friendly and eager to answer questions. Check out the two eagles “tussling” in the photo above.
After our Natural History Museum, we headed to the Raptor Center area. One of my mom’s life goals has been to see a bald eagle, and friends — this was the place to do it. Check out this one (yes, she’s alive!).
An employee told us a lot about eagles. The two you can see here, in the background, are here as rescues. One had been electrocuted, and I think the other was hit by a vehicle. Both had partial wing amputations and couldn’t fly sufficiently to now live in the wild, but they looked fine to me, and they were very impressive.
It was a lot of fun to see the two interact. The eagle on the right (Vega) was the older, more serious one, and the one of the left (Bella) kept trying to get closer to her. Hearing them “CAW” and move around was pretty neat.
Fun eagle fact: you’ve probably heard of “eagles eyes” and what great vision eagles have. It’s so good, that, if you were an eagle, you could read the regular-size print in a newspaper from the length of a football field. No wonder they can spot prey from quite a distance!
I don’t do much video, but online I found a video someone had made of these two eagles, if you’d like to watch them interact.
We went to an outside area, where we saw barred owls, red-tailed hawks, and other raptors.
It was very easy to spend a morning here. If you ever find yourself in Haines, Alaska, be sure to stop by.