Raptor club to host silent auction with birds of prey

Visitors can donate, meet 12 avians like golden eagle Amicus



Nichole Lique, WSU Raptor Club member, holds golden eagle Amicus while discussing the auction to occur during Mom’s Weekend on Wednesday at the Stauber Raptor Facility.

CHERYL AARNIO, Evergreen reporter

Students and moms will have the opportunity to see birds of prey and bid on items at the Raptor Club’s silent auction this weekend.

The auction will occur from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the WSU Animal Disease Biotechnology Facility, Room 1002, said Mia Gleason, Raptor Club’s public relations officer.

People who just want to see the birds are welcome to this free event, Gleason said.

The Raptor Club is made up of volunteers who are at least 18 years old that handle and feed its 12 raptors. She said they bring some of their birds to about 70 educational programs yearly for schools, fairs and events.

The birds will be at the auction for people to look at and ask questions about, Raptor Club member Nichole Lique said.

Gleason said Amicus, a golden eagle, is one bird only experienced Raptor Club members have the opportunity to handle.

Amicus is 13 years old with a 6-foot wingspan, which is the largest wingspan of any of the Raptor Club birds. Amicus is blind, likely due to lead poisoning, but they are not sure of the cause, Lique said.

Gleason said some other birds at the auction will be red-tailed hawks Dakota and Brenda; a snowy owl, Tundra; and a great gray owl, Gus.

Some items people can bid on are artwork that has been donated from galleries, gift certificates to restaurants, home decor, club merchandise, gift cards and suitcases, she said.

Additionally, there will be a photograph signed by Head Football Coach Mike Leach that shows Widget, the club’s only barn owl, on a Cougar football helmet, Gleason said.

If someone does not wish to bid on something, they can choose to donate money to the club, Gleason said.

The Raptor Club has raised funds this way for a number of years, and it is the club’s main source of money, Lique said.

The money from the auction goes toward medical bills for the birds, bills for upkeep for the WSU Stauber Raptor Facility and food for the birds, Gleason said.

“[People] can expect to be educated,” she said, “and they can expect to give money to a great cause.”