Off Beat: Eagles get celebrity treatment during Vancouver visit



A couple of eagles got the star treatment during their recent visit to Vancouver. Their accommodations? A suite in the Hilton.

Bald eagle Defiance and Phoenix, a golden eagle, were accompanied by three people from Wildlife Images Rehabilitation & Education Center in Grants Pass, Ore.

The group participated in several fundraising efforts held in conjunction with local Veterans Day events last week, and they all stayed in a Hilton Vancouver Washington suite while in town.

That suite life helped the group stay on the right side of federal wildlife regulations. After all, you can’t just tether an eagle to a tree overnight.

“We made a call to the federal government and told them we’d be taking the eagles to Vancouver,” said Carrie Clayton, deputy director of Wildlife Images. “We have to be with them.”

Of course, the eagles really do rate star treatment, said David Siddon, executive director of Wildlife Images. The eagles have appeared on television and their images have been on album covers.

Defiance was cast in a TV commercial that aired a couple of years ago.

“It was a Radio Shack commercial featuring two bald eagles,” Siddon said. “Both of them were Defiance.”

Appearance helps raise $35K

There was a serious side to their appearance: bringing in some big bucks for Vancouver-based nonprofit CDM Services, which provides in-home care for people of all ages.

The eagles’ visit helped CDM Services net $35,000, said Mike Wilson, with Westby Associates, a Vancouver company that helps nonprofits raise funds.

Despite their celebrity status, the eagles didn’t get to order room service. Siddon said they packed their usual diet of fish, chicken and venison.

Off Beat lets members of The Columbian news team step back from our newspaper beats to write the story behind the story, fill in the story or just tell a story.