Powder Valley Nature Center presents an Evening with Raptors program Jan. 31

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KIRKWOOD, Mo. — Bird buffs, falcon fanciers, and anyone enraptured by raptors are invited to meet the objects of their admiration close up at An Evening with Raptors. An Evening with Raptors is a free event hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood. It takes place Friday, Jan. 31 from 7-9 p.m. and is open to all ages. The event will be joined this year by long-time MDC partner, St. Louis Sprout and About.

St. Louis Sprout & About (StLSprout.com), is a locally owned, online family magazine founded in January 2010. They’re helping to celebrate their 10th anniversary by inviting their readers to join them and MDC for an Evening with Raptors.

The first part of the evening includes an educational presentation on raptors—or birds of prey—and the sport of falconry. Falconry is the art of training raptors to capture wild game, so that bird and trainer essentially become hunting partners. The use of falconry can be traced back to 700 B.C.E., and by some accounts even farther back in time.

The second half of the evening, visitors will get a chance to see living raptors close up as Missouri falconers bring their birds for a “meet and greet.” There will be ample opportunities to see the birds in person and take photographs, so visitors are encouraged to bring their cameras. The falconers will be on hand to answer questions about the birds and their sport, and talk about how to get involved, as well as display equipment used in falconry.

St. Louis Sprout and About will be setting a special table to welcome visitors. A kids' craft station will entertain younger children, and a bird discovery station will allow people of all ages to discover these amazing birds by engaging the senses of sight, sound, and touch. MDC naturalists will be available to answer questions.

An Evening with Raptors is free and open to all ages, but advanced registration is required. To sign up, visitors should go to https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZWL.

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is located at 11715 Cragwold Road in Kirkwood, near the intersection of I-44 and I-270.

MDC offers many free educational events and programs in the St. Louis region to help people discover nature, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors. Stay informed by going to the MDC St. Louis reginal events page at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZP6.