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Raptor Fest, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

 

by Marina Scarr

The skies thankfully cleared this weekend for the Raptor Fest held at the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve nestled in urban St. Petersburg, Florida on the shore of Lake Maggiore.  This was the Preserve’s first Raptor Fest, admission and parking were free, and

Falconer K.T. Topash with his Red Tailed Hawk.

Falconer K.T. Topash with his Red Tailed Hawk.

it was a great success with over 1100 folks in attendance throughout the day. There was something going on for everyone.

There were a number of activities and events offered for all age groups including a bird walk, raptor education programs, free flight raptor demonstrations, Native American storytelling about raptors and more.  Steve Hoddy of EarthQuest (www.EarthQuest.org) put on a terrific show with various birds including a Peregrine Falcon which he free flew for an enchanted crowd.  He also wowed the crowd with an Andean Condor.  Several licensed falconers were on hand with their birds for an exhibition, to answer questions and offer photo ops.  Many people brought cameras and everywhere you looked there were photo ops with live birds of prey.  There were a number of rehabilitators and environmental exhibits from around the State providing valuable information for their organizations including FWC, local Audubon societies, Eagle and Osprey Watch, Save all Birds and others.
Boyd Hill is a 245-mile park made up of six miles of trails and boardwalks.  It’s one of the stops on the Great Florida Bird and Wildlife Trail and made up of variety of unique ecosystems.  This park boasts 165 bird species, 50 butterfly species and 60 species of reptiles and amphibians.  The Lake Maggiore Environmental Education Center has various exhibits, educational programs and its own aviary with rehabilitated birds of prey.  Join a free bird walk the first Saturday of each month at 8:00 am.  Consider taking the entire family to Boyd Hill Nature Preserve for a visit and mark your calendars for next years Raptor Fest.
View more of Marina’s Great Photography please visit:  Marina Scarr Photography
Save All Birds Booth

Save All Birds Booth

Lake Maggiore Environmental Educational Center

Lake Maggiore Environmental Educational Center

Steve Hoddy, Educator from Earth Quest with Andean Condor.

Steve Hoddy, Educator from Earth Quest with Andean Condor.

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