The Raptors are returning.
Vernon’s Allan Brooks Nature Centre is excited to again present the Raptors, featuring a live demonstration of a wide range of native and non-native raptor species including owls, hawks, eagles and vultures.
The Raptors will be at the nature centre for only five days, Wednesday, Aug. 25 to Sunday, Aug. 29, for daily flight demonstrations in a group setting, and up-close and personal encounters. Demonstrations are scheduled each day at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. (for approximately 45 minutes), and the cost for adults is $23.75, kids ages 4-16 is $18.50 (kids 3 and under are free).
The demos are set in the Grasslands Theatre at ABNC, with bench seating for up to 75 people, and include a great view of the birds in flight from every angle. The encounters are scheduled each day at 9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. (for approximately one hour). There is an eight-person limit, the cost is $84.75 and participants must be at least eight years of age.
Encounters offer personal interaction with the birds, they will fly to and from guests as they perch on your arm. Tickets are available online at Ticketseller.ca, in person at the Ticketseller box office, or by calling 250-549-7469. Pre-registration is required.
“We were unable to host the Raptors in 2020 due to COVID, so we are beyond excited to bring the program back this year,” said nature centre manager Cheryl Hood. “It’s a great experience for kids and adults, to see these birds so close and in action, you can’t miss it.”
The Raptors travel from their home in Duncan, on Vancouver Island, which makes this a unique opportunity to connect with the birds at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre. Some of the raptors coming this year have been to the centre in the past and there will be some newcomers too. Guests can expect to see Hercules (bald eagle), Tuari (Harris’ hawk), Jury (turkey vulture), Inspector (spectacled owl) and Dori (North American kestrel) and possibly more.
The Raptors is an organization dedicated to inspiring conservation and protecting wildlife species. Demos include raptors showing off their amazing flight skills as their handlers narrate and engage with visitors, discussing raptor ecology and conservation actions.
“We are excited to be back in beautiful Vernon working with Allan Brooks Nature Centre,” said Robyn Radcliffe, director of operations for the Raptors. “Our birds love to fly free in the grasslands, and we always look forward to bringing this educational program to the Okanagan. As an organization, it is our mandate to raise awareness for birds of prey and promote conservation, the ABNC does amazing conservation work and our partnership helps bring more appreciation to these wonderful birds.”
Allan Brooks Nature Centre is continuing to prepare for the event but will be watching the air quality index and wildfire status in Vernon and surrounding communities closely. If the event is cancelled due to environmental concerns, patrons will receive a full refund.
“Our guest’s safety and the raptors’ wellbeing is paramount,” said Hood. “If there is any risk at all, we will cancel with advance notice. In the meantime, we are happy to have the distraction and something to really look forward to at the end of summer.”
The event is proudly sponsored by Nixon Wenger LLP and VantageOne Credit Union.