However, along with success came a new problem, a rise in human-eagle conflicts. Many of these incidents produced permanently displaced and disabled eagles that had nowhere to go. Loretta Jones, founder and executive director, felt a moral obligation to help our national symbol by using her talents and facility, and so Walk With The Eagles™ came to life.
Walk with The Eagles™ is a unique program that allows visitors to safely cross the threshold into the eagles’ world, and to experience these magnificent creatures face-to-face. It is a once in a lifetime chance for visitors to share the magic and passion and look deep into the eyes of an eagle.
We are honored to partner with Sia, the Comanche Nation Ethno-ornithological Initiative, who are leading eagle conservationists in the world. Through this partnership Hawk Creek has been increasing the impact of our eagle conservation program. While our work with eagles began with North America’s native Bald and Golden Eagles the addition of several rare and unique non-native eagles has been instrumental in educating people about the plight of eagles worldwide.
Thakan, Martial Eagle
Thakan is a male Martial Eagle, the largest species of eagle in Africa and is listed as vulnerable. He is here to be an ambassador for his declining species & to promote worldwide eagle conservation. Several organizations are working together to import females for the small number of bachelor males already in the U.S. but this cannot occur until the South African export ban is lifted. We hope to eventually find his soul mate so that he can contribute to his species’ numbers.
Onyx, Verreaux’s Eagle
Onyx, the Verreaux’s Eagle, is one of the first of his species to be hatched in the western hemisphere. With fewer than 10 of these birds in the US he is an important and unique ambassador for eagle conservation and people from around the globe have been following his development via social media.
Onyx was sent to the Center from SIA at 4 weeks old. His parents had rejected him so he was raised by foster golden eagles. First this little ball of fluff was like all nestlings, he slept a lot, ate a lot and you guessed it, pooped a lot. At this age Onyx traveled with his trainer everywhere in his “nest”. He went to “eagle school” to spend time near the golden eagles and bateleur eagle. Soon he was hopping out of his nest and exercising his wings—he had entered the toddler stage and was unstoppable! Now he could follow his “step brothers,” Eurasian Eagle Owlets, around the yard, office, house and in their quest to claim all of the dog’s toys as their own. As Onyx grew he spent his days in an outdoor enclosure, hopping back into his nest when he knew it was time to go home and work on stepping to the glove and watching Netflix. His trainer knew his days of coming home at night were numbered as he began to get lift. He let us know when that day arrived when he flew to his trainer’s bed demanding breakfast!
Onyx has grown into a confident and robust eagle. He has taught us so much and we look forward to sharing his many adventures with his fans!
Mah Woo Meh, Bateleur Eagle
We bet you have never heard of a Bateleur Eagle before! Well, there is a reason for that— they are native to Africa, and there are less than 25 of them in the United States. Mah Woo Meh was sent to the Center on an education loan from our partners at Sia. We are honored to have had the opportunity to work with this beautiful, rare bird and share him with the New York community.
Cherokee, Canyon & Apache, Golden Eagles
Never say never – this is a lesson taught with utmost clarity when working at Hawk Creek. Most of the staff that has worked here awhile is hardly ever “surprised” at unexpected occurrences. Even our most unflappable staff however was struck speechless in May 2011 when our two resident golden eagles, Cherokee and Canyon, produced an eaglet. At the time Cherokee was already over 40 years old!
The staff was speechless upon discovering the tiny chick, and many were moved to tears. We witnessed the formidable Cherokee gently feeding the chick the tiniest pieces of meat and balling up her powerful talons to avoid accidently hurting the chick as she walked. Canyon diligently protected his family and brought them food, however Cherokee decided he wasn’t allowed to sit on the chick to keep it warm so he was only allowed to perform guard duty and nest construction.
Even though Cherokee and Canyon can no longer fly wild due to their injuries, their chick, Legacy, was released on January 15, 2012 in St Louis, MO in partnership with World Bird Sanctuary to soar free across our skies.
In 2012 Cherokee and Canyon once again produced a chick, this time a male named Heritage. The USFWS did not want this eagle to be released so he now lives with our friends at Sia.
After Cherokee’s passing in 2018, Canyon was given a new companion, Apache. These two birds will continue to educate people on the dangers facing Golden Eagles here in the US as well as around the world.