Every March for the past four years, EarthQuest has brought their Birds of Prey show to Lake Livingston State Park, and this is one show that you don’t want to miss! Watch a falcon rip through the air over your head, see a vulture up close and personal, and marvel at the size and beauty of several different magnificent raptors. For various reasons these birds can never be returned to the wild, many due to the fact they were raised from chicks by humans. They have imprinted on people instead of their own kind, and now they think they’re people. These birds don’t know how to hunt, how to accept a mate, or how to survive in the wild. But they still serve a great purpose.
EarthQuest is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing an environmental education program on birds of prey to the public. In 2019 EarthQuest brought their birds to 13 Texas school districts and 46 schools. Earthquest estimates the program in Texas was seen by almost 25,000 students and teachers last year! In addition they put on shows for parks, nature centers, and other civic groups. Over the past 16 years they’ve educated around 300,000 folks! EarthQuest volunteers really enjoy seeing all the children’s delighted faces, their mouths wide open in wonder! And it’s not just the kids, but the adults too!
Lake Livingston State Park Ranger, Joel Jannsen, first brought in the Birds of Prey program during 2016. His mission is to create and develop young stewards for the natural and cultural worlds, and this program is a perfect fit. Joel enthusiastically says, “People need to see nature up close to feel its Shock and Awe, and live programs are the best way to get kids involved. Families have come all the way from Austin and San Antonio to see the Birds of Prey show!” In some years up to 800 people have attended the event at the State Park, with close to half of those being children.
Look for the exact date in March on birdsofpreytexas.org, or facebook.com/LakeLivingstonSP. There are usually two identical shows, one at 11am and the second at 2pm. Bring the family to see these magnificent raptors at Lake Livingston State Park, and get ready for a little “Shock and Awe”!
Learn more about the incredible nature in our area by joining a chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist organization. To find a chapter close to you, or to read about the state program, go online to www.txmn.org. Volunteer and get involved!
Certified Texas Master Naturalist