Montana Raptor Conservation Center - 3rd Annual Open House - August 11th
July 30, 2013
Posted By: Shaunescy
This amazing little fellow is Nigel.
For years now, I have driven past the Montana Raptor Conservation Center and I had no idea what it was. I would see the aesthetically designed yellow barn on the east side of Springhill Road just behind the Central Valley Fire Dept outpost and wonder if some crazy artist lived there. All the while, I was gazing at the Flight Barn that is utilized by bald eagles and others who were well on their way back to the wild.
There is no sign announcing what is going on back there. First and foremost because it is not a zoo although many birds of prey live there and is not generally open to the public. BUT, they are opening the doors wide and inviting the public to come and see what it's all about during their annual Open House on August 11th.
Click Here for a Map to MRCC
This is the 3rd year that MRCC has hosted the event. Attendance was about 200 people the first year, 800 last year and this year will likely be even more! There is parking available in the field but carpooling is always a good idea, and as a heads-up, it is not recommended to bring pets.
What is recommended is to bring your family and a sense of wonder.
So what is a MRCC all about?
Put simply, the MRCC is a hospital and rehabilitation facility for injured or sick raptors. It is comprised of 3 barns. When an injured (or poisoned) bird arrives, it is treated by Dr. Karyn Cook of All West Veterinary and as it recovers the staff and volunteers feed and care for the bird, with an eye towards their eventual release. MRCC admits, on average, 150+ injured or sick raptors each year.
Nigel (from above) is an adult, male, Northern Saw-whet Owl. He is one of the permanent residents at the Montana Raptor Conservation Center. He has a shoulder injury that prevents him from flying but he is happy, healthy and well. Not to mention, he is an adorable ambassador bird that assists the MRCC in their community education efforts.
The mission statement of MRCC:
"Through rehabilitation and release of injured birds of prey, public education and research, our mission is to conserve and restore raptor species. These birds are important indicators of the health of our environment."
In some cases, like Nigel's, the bird is unable to be released back into the environment with success. Through donations and grants, these birds are cared for. They are also important and very real teachers.
MRCC hosts a variety of educational programs. Programs range from school classes and assemblies, to adult education classes, to small business and corporate events. Program topics cover the types of raptors living in Montana as well as their impact and importance to the ecosystem. For more info about their hour-long educational presentations and to see pictures of the other ambassador birds, click here .
It's worth looking into. Heck, I might gift a presentation to my kid's school, because for the $100 fee, some true wonderment could take flight.
Here is one more shot of Nigel (who my kids cannot stop talking about)
with MRCC Director, Becky Kean
All my best, BunnyFufu