We enjoyed the outdoor grounds of this center very much and our son loved seeing all the eagles and other raptors up-close. The gift shop is well-stocked with Made in AK items, unique trinkets, and all proceeds go back to the Raptor Center.
The trails are serene with the noise of the water flowage on the property and the songs of eagles and other birds in the air. Kids can get some wiggles out walking around, but do be bear aware -- the grounds are habitat for browns.
Don't be discouraged if the front desk person is a little short with you upon arrival -- the raptor handlers and experts are quite warm and friendly!
The rehab area for birds that are getting ready for release or the "hospital" area is really interesting. With one-way glass, the birds don't know you're scoping them out, but you can view them in more of a natural setting in the open arena that is their "half way" area before release.
There are other species, not just American bald eagles that are there -- from hummingbirds to owls, they take all feathered friends and many can be seen either inside recovering from injuries or outside, where non-releasable residents are sometimes found.
We like having specimen right there for our son to learn and foster an appreciation for birds. This is a great place to teach kids about our avian friends. There is also a hands-on area that was a big hit -- with bones, magnifying glasses, feathers and more, kids can learn a lot about birds!
Disclosure: We received complimentary admission to the Raptor Center grounds. We were not compensated in any other way and our opinions are our own. Thank you!
We loved this raptor rehabilitation and rescue center. The introductory talk was excellent (you learn what they do here and meet a few of the raptors) and it was very interesting to tour the rehab rooms for the birds. There are guides to explain the reasoning behind all the equipment and environments the birds were in, and outside, you can view many more raptors who live here. Of course, there are wild raptors as well; while we were viewing a pair of bald eagles who were in the center, several wild bald eagles swooped down to hang out!
This center is doing good work and is worth the stop in Sitka!
I can’t say enough great things about this place. Simply put, if you are visiting Sitka then the Raptor Center is a must see. We walked there from the cruise ship pier via the Sitka National Historical Park, but they also run a shuttle.
They have many birds to see in outdoor enclosures. We especially enjoyed the eagles and owls. Inside they have two indoor aviaries. One is a flight training center to teach eagles how to fly and the other one housed owls. You can view each one from inside a dark corridor in between them.
This was one of the highlights of our trip to Alaska. We really enjoyed our time here and highly recommend it.