When it comes to conversations about birds of prey — owls, eagles, and hawks — vultures get snubbed. For one, they’re ugly, and, two, they eat roadkill. International Vulture Awareness Day, held on the first Saturday every September, is a way to promote knowledge and understanding for these often-overlooked raptors. “Vultures are a critical component of the ecosystem, and they are often unappreciated,” says Stephen Schabel, director of education at the Center. “We also know that in certain parts of the world, they are in trouble.” The Lowcountry’s Center for Birds of Prey will offer programs on this day specifically geared toward vultures’ natural history, distinct adaptations, and their impressive intelligence. Guests can take a guided tour of the conservation center with a particular focus on vultures. There will be a flight demonstration in which the staff will work with two or three different species, including a black vulture and a yellow-headed vulture. Because feasting on a tire-tread possum is dangerous, the Center for Birds of Prey also hosts a “vulture restaurant,” which offers recycled food in a safe place for the vultures to eat. The vulture restaurant can bring in up to several hundred vultures at a time and gives guests the opportunity to observe these raptors and their natural behaviors. Don’t forget to bring your camera: photography is allowed at the Center.
Price: $15/adult, $10/youth