Monday, May 6, 2013

The Carolina Raptor Center

We took the children to the Carolina Raptor Center on Saturday.  Hubby loves eagles and hawks, so I thought it would be fun for him, too.  We weren't really sure what to expect.  I figured it would be a small place with birds in cages, but it wasn't.

We noticed they had a ten dollar admission fee per adult and and six dollars per child.  However, we were given discounts for having visited Latta Plantation and homeschooling.  All four of us were admitted for twenty dollars.  So, homeschoolers make sure if you visit to tell them that you homeschool!

The lady at the register gave us maps of the complex and explained it typically takes an hour too complete the trail.  Little Man's eyes perked up when he heard the word trail.  That meant we had some exploring to do!

Off we went!  The birds are all in outdoor cages and arranged by type.  Each caged area has information about the type of bird, what they eat, where they are located in the wild, where they migrate, etc.  Also, at each cage there is information about the specific bird(s) housed.  The bird's name, where it was found, what happened to it, who gave the bird to the Carolina Raptor Center, why the bird cannot be released back into the wild, etc.

Both children enjoyed watching the birds.  Egee liked reading about the individual birds.  The stories really personalized the experience.  Little Man liked following the trail to see what new bird awaited.  He actually practiced his reading skills by trying to read the signs.  He wanted to be able to share fun facts about the birds to us when we caught up to him!

Several of the birds were taking care of eggs.  The center is evidently very successful in their breeding program.

As we approached the owl habitats, we noticed they had just been feed.  The children got to see the dead mice, rats, and chicks placed into the cages for the birds.  That led us on a discussion of how the birds will eat.  The trail paper we were given said it cost $4000 a month to feed all the birds.  That is a lot of rodents and chicks!

We definitely enjoyed our visit and look forward to returning.