Take a day trip on your Labor Day Weekend to learn about the vital role that vultures, nature’s efficient clean-up crew, play in our environment at The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise. Celebrate International Vulture Awareness Day, an event being held around the world to highlight an important group of scavenging birds that is increasingly threatened with extinction due to poisoning and other human activities.
Special activities for kids will include art projects, puzzles, and interactive games showing how vultures use their remarkable senses of sight and smell to find food. Visitors also can enjoy close-up views of a pair of California Condors on display in the new Condor Cliffs, which opened one year ago.
Biologist Chris Parish, head of the organization’s California Condor recovery program in Arizona, will speak at 10:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. about his work with endangered vultures.
Munir Virani who studies rare vultures in Asia and Africa, will speak at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. A display of stunning photographs by Virani features images of vultures and other wildlife in Kenya’s Masai Mara nature reserve and other parts of Africa.
Visitors can get eye-to-eye with hawks, owls, falcons, and eagles at live bird presentations from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Among the featured birds will be Lucy, an 11-year-old Turkey Vulture that arrived at the World Center for Birds of Prey when she was 5 months old after being rescued from people who had taken her illegally from the wild.
The Archives of Falconry will also be open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Highlights include an authentic hunting tent and other displays from the Middle East, art, books, sculpture, and artifacts.
When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, September 3
Where: World Center for Birds of Prey, 5668 W. Flying Hawk Lane
Admission: $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 youth
Driving directions: From I-84, take Cole Road exit and continue south on Cole Road for 6 miles to Flying Hawk Lane.
DID YOU KNOW?
Vultures perform a crucial clean-up and recycling role in the environment by consuming dead animals that might otherwise spread disease and contamination. Loss of these scavengers would have far-reaching ecological, economic, cultural and public health effects.
California Condors can become sick or die after eating animal carcasses shot with lead-based ammunition. This source of lead exposure is the leading cause of death in condors in Arizona and Utah and the principal obstacle to the species’ recovery.
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