Doris Mager is definitely one those people. She has dedicated almost 50 years to promoting conservation and preservation of hawks, eagles, owls, and other raptors.
Mager started rescuing birds of prey in 1963 with little or no experience, but with an uncommon love for birds. With common sense, she was able to rescue her first bird, a red-tailed hawk with an infected leg. With “a lot of love and Epsom salt” she was able to release the hawk back into the wild.
From that time on, she has committed her life to research, education and the rehabilitation of birds of prey. At one time, Mager housed 36 birds at her home and eventually cared for 80 bald eagles. She was able to release 15 of the bald eagles back into the wild.
Mager gained international recognition in 1979 when she lived in an abandoned eagle’s nest for seven days and six nights to draw attention to this endangered species’ plight and to raise money for the Florida Audubon Society’s Birds of Prey Center.
In 1983, she founded Save Our American Raptors (SOAR), a non-profit environmental education organization that has been educating people all across this country. If driving around the United States wasn’t enough, she began “the Biceagle” trip. She rode her bike from California to Florida campaigning for funds and presenting educational talks. Mager did this at the age of 60.
Goliad State Park has been fortunate to have Mager present her educational programs here for the past five years. Unfortunately, this year will be the last, because this spry and lively octogenarian has finally decided to retire from presenting traveling education programs.
Visitors can hear Mager’s stories, meet her birds, and take advantage of a unique treasure on Friday, Jan. 18 at 5:30 p.m., when she will lead an “Owl Walk” at the park, and on Saturday, Janu. 19 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when she will present inspiring “Save Our American Raptors” programs featuring live raptors in the park’s group dining hall.
Seating is limited. For more information, call the park at 361-645-3405.