Fall Flights program at Birds of Prey Center nearing end

Posted at 6:14 PM, Oct 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-24 06:09:37-04

Fall is literally taking to flight at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise.

Each October, visitors are invited to be a part of the action.

"This is a really special spot," says Tate Mason, the interpretive center director.

From the advantage point at Raptor Ridge, you can see Boise and Meridian to the north and the Owyhee Range to the south. But, it's not necessarily the scenic view the over 400-plus people arrived to see on this day. They're here to see hawks, falcons and the largest owl breed up close.

"When people see the birds in flight, it's much more of a profound experience," Mason says. "And, we're able to train these birds to fly really quite close to people."

An Aplomado Falcon was the first to wow the crowd. The Birds of Prey are motivated to return to their trainers glove by food. In the case of this falcon, a "quail treat."

Theresa Molsbee and her husband brought their grandchildren with them. They got there early so they could learn more about some of the other educational birds at the center before the Fall Flights Program got started.

"The condors' wingspan, they [grandkids] were very impressed with that. They said, 'Oh, that's small until they got to put their arms up and check how big it actually was," she says.

It was the family's first time at the Idaho World Center for Birds of Prey.

"It's a big facility, there are a lot of things to do. It's really been surprising," Molsbee says.

The education birds get out of their cages and get to stretch their wings year round during flight training sessions. For now, October is the only time of year they put on a public performance.

Proceeds from the program also go to support care for the birds in their captive breeding program.

Oct. 28-30 are the last days for this year's Fall Flights Program at the center. The program starts at 3 p.m. but you're asked to arrive by 2:30 p.m.

Unless you're a member, there is an admission fee.