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NEW Native American Aviaries constructed at Birds of Prey Northwest

(Near Coeur d’Alene, ID)—Birds of Prey Northwest and the Coeur d'Alene Tribe of north Idaho have jointly constructed two new aviaries for housing nonreleasable bald and golden eagles. After several years of collaboration and planning, the new Native American Aviaries at BOPNW have been permitted by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service for housing eagles with the sole purpose of the Tribe collecting feathers that the eagles naturally shed each year. 

These collected feathers are important to the Coeur d'Alene Tribe’s culture and ceremonies, and the Tribe is the first in the western U.S. to obtain such a permit. 

Jane Veltkamp, Birds of Prey NW’s founding director and raptor biologist, has been officially designated as eagle expert for the aviaries. She will manage all care of the eagles and train Tribal members who will assume care for the eagles in the future. Birds of Prey NW will maintain the Tribal aviaries on site at BOPNW until the Coeur d'Alene Tribe constructs its own aviaries on Tribal property.

Eagles that cannot be released back into the wild, due to permanent injury or disabling illness, can still live many years in captivity, some reaching the age of 50. The Native American Aviaries will provide an eagle conservation measure, and a new means for Tribal members to legally obtain eagle feathers. In past, the Tribe has had to depend on receiving feathers from the country’s only eagle repository, in Colorado.

Tribal aviary photos courtesty of Scott Fields

On November 30th, the newly US Fish and Wildlife-permitted Coeur d'Alene Tribal Aviaries received the first eagles to be placed within the structures, one aviary for golden eagles and one for bald eagles. On that day, an adult bald eagle  and two immature golden eagles were released into the structure by Nate Albrecht - biologist with CDA Tribe, and Don and Janie Veltkamp - BOPNW Board members.

Alfred Nomee director of CDA Tribe Natural Resources Department and Janie Veltkamp prepare to release a golden eagle into the aviary.

Pete Vallee, Vincent Peone, Alfred Nomee, Cameron Heusser,

Nathan Albrecht, Jane Veltkamp, Ralph Allan

Don Veltkamp, Nate Albrecht from CDA Tribe, and Jane Veltkamp

Bald Eagles: male 1-yr old youngster, male 4-yr old sub-adult, female full adult

MEDIA CONTACT: Jane Veltkamp, Executive Director,

To donate to Birds of Prey Northwest:

​For a rescue emergency

- eagle, hawk, falcon, or owl -

208- 245-1367 or 208-582-0797,

or Idaho Fish and Game at