Wing It at Elachee’s Raptor Fest 2016

Bring the family to Elachee Nature Science Center March 12 to witness the majesty of a Bald Eagle and other birds of prey.

February 25, 2016 (Gainesville, Ga.) – Elachee Nature Science Center invites the public to ruffle a feather or two at the 2nd Annual Raptor Fest on Saturday, March 12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The family-friendly program features an all-star line-up of wildlife and nature experts who will conduct live birds of prey flight demonstrations – one a Bald Eagle – sure to thrill and delight everyone privileged to witness this rare sight! 

At this action packed festival, see Elachee’s resident Red-Tailed Hawk and an actual Osprey nest, take a selfie with your favorite bird of prey, learn about falconry, get your face painted and enjoy ‘birdy’ crafts, tour Elachee’s live animal exhibits, see the 2015 Georgia Jr. Duck Stamp Contest traveling exhibition, buy a souvenir from the Nature Shop and fly on through the new, interactive bat exhibit, Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats

Thanks to annual corporate sponsor Murrayville Veterinary Clinic, Elachee is pleased to offer the special Raptor Fest 2016 event programming to the community:

  • Flight demonstrations, including a Bald Eagle, from Wings to Soar
  • Falconry presentation and live bird demonstration by Master Class falconer Buster Brown
  • A presentation on tracking Peregrine Falcon populations in Georgia by falconer Jim Ozier, former DNR Non-Game Conservation Program Manager
  • Live birds and artifacts on display courtesy of Nature’s Echo Environmental Education
  • Meet and greet members of the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society and join them for hikes in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve (weather permitting)
  • Tours of Elachee’s live animal exhibits and aviary, plus introductions to Elachee’s resident animal ambassador, a Red-Tailed Hawk
  • Great children’s activities throughout festival including how to identify an Owl by pellets you see, matching up feathers with the correct raptor, wing measurement fun and more!

Raptor Fest 2016 will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Elachee’s main campus at 2125 Elachee Drive in Gainesville (off Atlanta Highway, near the Chicopee Woods Golf Course).

Admission to Raptor Fest is $5 per person. Elachee members and children under 2 years get in free. Visitors and members may pay an additional $3 per person for admission to see the limited engagement exhibition, Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats

Buy tickets online or pay admission day of the event at Elachee. All pre-paid tickets are will call. Contact Elachee at 770-535-1976 with questions. 

Visitors who came to last year’s Raptor Fest may recall that Elachee’s Red-Tailed Hawk had just arrived and Raptor Fest was a chance to introduce her to the community. This mature, female hawk sustained a permanent eye injury when she collided with a car in December 2014. She was rescued and completed rehabilitation at Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, Ga. Because full vision plays an enormous role in birds, especially birds of prey who rely on this sense for hunting, navigation and defense, the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s veterinary staff had to make the call that she was ‘non-releasable’ due to her impaired sight. Elachee welcomed her to the Nature Center’s animal ambassador program in 2015 and visitors love stopping by the aviary to watch her.            

Elachee Nature Science Center is open daily: Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Elachee’s hiking trail system through the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve is open to the public daily, 7 a.m. to dusk. See hours and admission details at PLAN YOUR VISIT or call 770-535-1976.

About Elachee Nature Science Center

Elachee Nature Science Center in north Georgia’s 1,440-acre Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve is a private, independently operated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. For more than 35 years, this premier SACS/AdvancEd-accredited nature center has been instrumental in building environmental literacy for Georgians. Elachee serves tens of thousands of visitors annually through STEM-based environmental education classes for PreK-12 schoolsCamp Elachee summer day camp, museum exhibits, 12 miles of pristine hiking trails, other quality educational experiencesconservation activities and special programs for the public. The campus is also home to Elachee Nature Preschool, the first and only State-licensed and SACS-accredited nature preschool in the southeast. Elachee relies on earned income and tax-deductible donationsplanned giftsgrantscorporate partnerships and fund raising events to fund operations. 

Media Contacts 

Peter Gordon, Education Director, 770-535-1976        
Kim Marks, Development Director, 770-535-1976