5/15/2013 9:55:00 PM Public can see raptors up close here Saturday
Courtesy Liberty Wildlife/Ed Wright
Aurora the bald eagle is a Liberty Wildlife ambassador.
Courtesy Liberty Wildlife
Liberty Wildlife ambassador Phoenix, a golden eagle, hangs out with her handler, Joe Miller.
Special to the Courier
People can meet Arizona's magnificent birds of prey during the Raptor Rendezvous program 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Highlands Center for Natural History near Prescott.
Liberty Wildlife will bring an array of raptors including a bald eagle, golden eagle, peregrine falcon and great horned owl to teach spectators about these amazing birds.
Liberty is a wildlife rehabilitation, conservation and education foundation based in Scottsdale.
Liberty rehabilitates hundreds of native animals each year. More than half are able to be released back into the wild.
"The animals in our (permanent) care are permanently impaired or non-releasable," explained Jan Miller, an animal expert from Liberty Wildlife. "They are unable to survive any longer in the wild and have found new roles as education ambassadors."
One ambassador that will travel to Prescott Saturday is Phoenix, a 15-year-old golden eagle who came to Liberty Wildlife in 1999 because he was found with a fractured wing from an impact injury.
Phoenix helps Liberty Wildlife with its mission of reconnecting the public with the beauty and benefits of native wildlife and encouraging their protection.
"It is such an extraordinary opportunity to see a bird of prey like Phoenix up close, because you are rarely offered this vantage point in the wild," said Brandi Lee Cooper, the program educator for the Highlands Center. "We had such great public interest the first time Liberty Wildlife brought these amazing raptors, we really wanted families to have a chance at this educational experience again."
The Prescott Audubon Society also will bring a table full of educational games for the kids Saturday.
The admission fee of $2 for kids younger than 14 and $5 for adults helps sustain the programming at the center. The center is located at 1375 S. Walker Road east of Prescott. For more information call 776-9550 or go online to www.highlandscenter.org.
The center's mission is to help children and adults discover the wonders of nature through outdoor programs based on observation and discovery of the Central Arizona Highlands.