Birds of prey set to land at Rossland’s Golden City Days

A free event offers the opportunity to meet an American Kestrel and Harris Hawk through Raptors Ridge, a wildlife conservation program.

For the first time ever, a traveling science tour will take flight through the Kootenay Boundary region.

A free-event offers people of all ages the opportunity to meet “Lil’ Dude” the American Kestrel and “Mickey” the Harris Hawk through Raptors Ridge, a family-run wildlife conservation program based out of Maple Ridge.

“I see this as a family event for the community,” said Erin Handy, program coordinator at KAST. “It’s something you can do with your kids and it’s educational, but it’s still fun.”

The Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) teamed up with Rossland’s Golden City Days to diversify the annual fall fair, along with two other unique events through Growing and Learning Opportunities With Science (GLOWS).

The group invited two professional bird handlers from Raptors Ridge to the area next weekend and will be exhibiting birds of prey in Grand Forks at the Fall Fair on Sept. 7, Rossland’s Golden City Days on Sept. 8 and at the HIlls Garlic Festival in New Denver on Sept.9.

“Science is not an intimidating thing,” Handy explained  “It’s all around us and learning about science is important.”

Each event includes lectures about how to identify different species of birds, what they eat and how their roles influence our eco-system and agriculture.

“We called a lot of people, but Karen had the highest degree of enthusiasm,” Handy noted, alluding to Raptor’s Ridge co-founder Karen Kamstra.

Raptors Ridge Birds of Prey is a unique family business that boasts a professional conservation centre providing care for birds of prey in a natural habitat. It includes interactive workshops and public educational programs at its Maple Ridge facility, and at the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver.

But Kamstra always had a high regard for feathery friends and with the help of her family, she rescued roughly 30 raptors and transformed the family’s home into Raptors Ridge Birds of Prey.

“We aim to promote an exciting educational experience giving an opportunity to learn, develop and acquire a fuller understanding of ecological interaction between humans and birds of prey,” Kamstra said.

But flat-footed Rosslanders can celebrate Golden City Days in other ways.

Rossland will be celebrating 40 years of community spirit with a series of cool events scheduled to take place between Sept. 7 and 9. Highlights of the weekend include the fall fair, a pancake breakfast, children’s games, a climbing wall, roller derby, food and craft vendors, the Golden City Grind and a parade.

For more information about Raptors Ridge, visit http://www.raptorsridge.com/ or http://www.kast.com/.

To learn more about Rossland’s Golden City Days, call 250-362-9562.