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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge – A Refuge for Raptors

Region 5, April 21, 2013
"Winky" an Eastern Screech Owl on display during the program. - Photo Credit: n/a

On Sunday, April 21, more than 50 visitors learned about the many different kinds of raptors that can be found on the refuge, including hawks, owls, falcons, eagles, and the “honorary” raptor –vultures. Lauren Butcher, Education Director at The Raptor Trust, a wild bird rehabilitation facility and refuge partner, presented a fascinating and informative slide show with close up photos of these birds of prey. Visitors learned what makes a raptor unique, how they hunt in the daytime, and the special adaptations required for successful night-time hunting. The audience learned that interaction with human beings is the predominant cause of injuries to these birds. This message was really brought home when Lauren introduced Winky, a live eastern screech owl, a bird with only one eye due to a collision with an automobile. Visitors left with a new appreciation for these magnificent birds, a new appreciation for the
importance of the refuge for year-round and migratory habitat, and the many ways people can be more careful, aware, and responsible in order to reduce injuries to all birds. This program was part of the regular “Second Sunday” series sponsored by Friends of Great Swamp NWR and Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Contact Info: David Sagan, 413-584-8002, david_sagan@fws.gov