BENEWAH COUNTY, Idaho — Birds of Prey Northwest is an organization that works to provide medical treatment to injured and orphaned raptors to return them to the wild.
For nearly 30 years, the non-profit organization has followed through on its mission to educate the public about birds of prey through on-site and virtual presentations. Founded by raptor biologist and Executive Director Janie Veltkamp in St. Maries, Idaho, Birds of Prey Northwest comprises various board members, core staff and volunteers of all ages.
"A lot of effort goes into getting these birds back on the wing," Veltkamp said. "For every bird we release, we get another one in."
"I've been working here eight years now and it's been the most rewarding experience of my life," Raptor Technician Keaton Buell said. "I love being able to rescue wildlife and be able to come out here and hang out with the birds every single day by myself. It can be a little gross from time to time, but that's just working with wildlife, man."
The organization just released two bald eagles into the "eagle run," a rehabilitation center for the raptors that took seven to eight years to make. The "eagle run" acts as a haven for injured raptors to give them time and space to recover before being sent back out into the wild.
"You have to raise $40,000 a year just to feed these birds," Veltkamp said. "But, whose job is it to take care of wildlife? All of ours."
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