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For the love of animals: Audubon open house, online auction set for Feb. 14

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COURTESY: AUDUBON SOCIETY OF PORTLAND  - A Wildlife Care Center worker checks out a baby saw-whet owl. The public will get a chance to glimpse baby owls, beavers and other creatures in the care of the Audubon Society of Portland's Wildlife Care Center at their annual open house Feb. 14.

The Center takes in about 3,000 orphaned or injured native animals each year and works to rehabilitate them for release in the wild.

Normally closed to the public, they open their doors once a year to offer behind-the-scenes guided tours and host other family-friendly educational activities.

This year's event is set for 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14 at the Wildlife Care Center, 5151 N.W. Cornell Road.

Feb. 14 also marks the kickoff of Audubon's annual Call of the Wild online auction, which benefits the Wildlife Care Center and runs through March 7.

The auction features nature-related experiences like a behind-the-scenes tour of the Oregon Zoo’s California condor recovery facility, expert-led birding trips, a job-shadow with a wildlife biologist in the field, and a chance to help release a rehabilitated raptor.

For more information about the auction, visit http://portlandaudubon.tofinoauctions.com/callofthewild.

The Feb. 14 open house will include activities including:

• A tour of the center's animal intake area, food preparation room, laboratory and X-ray rooms, treatment and surgery rooms, and indoor and outdoor caging. A donation of $5 per adult or $10 per family is suggested and RSVP is required to secure a spot.

• Question and answer time with a wildlife veterinarian, and a chance to hear them share stories and cases.

• Hands-on activities at the raptor education station, which provide fun information about raptors and their adaptations as birds of prey.

• A raptor art show, open to kids of all ages.

• A meet and greet with Audubon's eight education birds, and hear bird handlers share each bird's story.

• Native American storytelling with animal puppets and flute music by local musician Stephanie Baldridge.

• A nature-themed scavenger hunt at the Audubon Nature Sanctuary.

The Wildlife Care Center is Oregon’s oldest and busiest wildlife rehabilitation facility. Audubon caretakers accepted their first injured bird into their Portland sanctuary in the 1930s.

For more: http://audubonportland.org/wcc/openhouse.

@jenmomanderson