Few Oregonians embody the adage “do what you love” like Jim Anderson. At 88 years old, the Sisters resident can be found climbing trees, tracking eagles and continuing the conservation work that earned him the nickname “Raptorman.”
Anderson found his love of raptors at a young age and has worked as a naturalist in Oregon for decades, educating crowds at OMSI, the Oregon Zoo and Sunriver Resort. These days he shares his passion for nature by leading hikes and local conservation efforts and penning a regular nature column in the Sisters newspaper.
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He has such a love of what he’s doing that I think it’s infectious,” says Amanda Egertson, a friend of Anderson’s from the Deschutes Land Trust. “It rubs off on the people that are around him.”
Fans of “Oregon Field Guide” have seen Anderson in action. He’s worked with the show since it began, helping the crew locate birds and providing plenty of fun along the way.
In one memorable scene, a kestrel hit Anderson in the head while he stood on top of a 15-foot ladder. Far from frightened, he celebrated the attack and made sure the crew got it on camera. To Anderson, it was lucky the moment was captured on video. And as he puts it, “the harder you work, the luckier you get.”
Want to walk with Anderson or follow in his footsteps? He and other committed naturalists regularly lead walks for the Deschutes Land Trust.