Few schools can call themselves home to over 200 domesticated farm animals and wildlife including 50 birds of prey, such as an Andean condor; Griffon vulture; numerous hawks, falcons, and owls; several crows; and permanently disabled bald and golden eagles. But the Green Chimneys Farm & Wildlife Center is a pivotal component in the education and therapeutic treatment for the children who attend Green Chimneys School.
Through the school’s unique nature-based approach, Green Chimneys students learn the true meaning of stewardship. Their participation in the care, and sometimes rehabilitation, of these animals helps them understand that animals can be needy and that they can play a role in nursing them back to health. It’s an important lesson for children who have special needs of their own: that a service receiver can become a service provider.
Green Chimneys’ animal program provides valuable education and interactive experiences not only for the students but for the larger community, as well. Part of this is the annual Birds of Prey Day, launched over 25 years ago as a fundraiser to build Green Chimneys’ very first aviary. It has since grown into a full-day educational program and celebration of birds of prey and the environment, hosting thousands of visitors.
On Sunday, June 2, Green Chimneys continues its famous tradition featuring more than 100 birds of prey on display with falconers from across New York and Connecticut.Visitors will have a chance to get “up close and personal” with majestic eagles, hawks, owls and falcons and learn from top wildlife and environmental experts.
This year Green Chimneys will welcome renowned Mongolian Eagle Hunter Lauren McGough. What began as a teenage fascination of golden eagles became a personal and professional passion. Lauren will share her experiences as a falconer, rehabber and anthropologist along with an impressive lineup of wildlife experts and environmentalists such as: Jim Fowler of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom; Jonathan Wood The Raptor Project; Bill Robinson Wildlife Lectures; Brian Bradley Skyhunters in Flight; James EyringPace Environmental Center; Erik Callender Reptile Edventures and Nature Nick’s Animal Adventures. Plus special guests Two By Two Zoo, and the New York State Falconry Association.
High points of the day include free-flying raptors, live animal demonstrations, and the release of a rehabilitated bird; a very significant moment for Green Chimneys’ staff and student rehabilitators, as well as the numerous wildlife professionals in attendance. Other animal highlights include introductions to exotic species under the main tent, the animal residents of the Green Chimneys Farm & Wildlife Center and always, some four-footed (or no-footed) surprise guests! View details of the day at www.greenchimneys.org/preyday
Doors open: 10:00am; Animal & Birds of Prey Demos: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Live Stage Show: 2:30 - 4:00pm; Ceremonial Bird Release to close the event
Adults $15 • Kids $5 • Seniors $5 • Family Pass $35 • FREE for military with ID and scouts in uniform