Winging It 

The Center for Birds of Prey hosts a high flying demonstration

Birds of Prey Demonstration
Fri. Feb. 13, 1 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 14, 1 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 15, 12 p.m.
Marion Square
Corner of Calhoun and King streets

The Center for Birds of Prey, working in conjunction with the Carolina Raptor Center, is returning to SEWE once again to give attendees a thrilling show starring, you guessed it, our fine feathered friends.

Located on an extensive 152-acre site next to the Francis Marion National Forest, the Center is run by a team of over 80 trained staff and volunteers working year-round to ensure that the birds they take in are tended to and medically treated with the best level of care possible.

At the demonstrations, Center staff will bring seven to 10 different birds from the 40 species they house back at their HQ, including the kites, falcons, owls, and hawks.

"It's always different. That's one of the exciting things about working with animals, you know — they never fail to surprise you," says Stephen Schabel, educational director for the Center for Birds of Prey. "Sometimes it's a really good thing; sometimes it's a little stressful."

He adds, "Being in an urban area is kind of odd for us with flying demonstrations. We're used to doing them out here in the middle of nowhere. It changes the dynamics a lot when you plop us in the middle of a downtown area and there's all of the wild birds that live there hanging around, and everybody with their dogs and big crowds, so you never know what's going to happen."

In order to keep the birds on point and make the demonstrations as full as possible, trainers from the Center will only offer one demonstration per day. "By doing it just once, it makes it a lot easier for us to focus on making it a great demonstration," Schabel says. "It's going to be awesome."

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