Raptor Free Flight!
The most extraordinary birds of prey exhibition in the United States!
Daily October 15, 2016 through March 21, 2017 — 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Daily March 22, 2017 through April 2, 2017 — 10:00 a.m. only
(It is recommended that visitors arrive at the Museum at least 20 minutes prior to the presentation times to allow time to park, enter, and walk to the demonstration area.)
Why this presentation is so impressive …
- The birds fly so close you can feel the brush of feathers as they whiz by!
- The birds fly completely untethered, without any jesses (leg straps) and most often without bracelets.
- Presentations occur in the open desert, not in an amphitheater!
- It features the only raptor species in the world that hunt as a family using strategy, like wolves!
- Only birds native to the Sonoran Desert region are flown in the demonstrations.
- Different birds fly in each show (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) so each show is unique.
Watch as these amazing aerialists soar and swoop in their native desert habitat while a narrator describes their attributes, habitats and behaviors.
Bring your cameras and get ready for some supercharged action!
See a selection of birds flying from the following species currently in the Museum's collection:
At 10:00 a.m.:
Great Horned Owls • Ferruginous Hawks • Red-tailed Hawks
At 2:00 p.m.:
Gray Hawks • Barn Owls • Peregrine falcons • Harris's Hawks.
In the wild, Harris's Hawks fly in family groups of three to seven birds. Watch as they ascend and hunt together! Family dynamics change throughout the season and you might just witness the female assert her dominance by ousting the smaller males off the tops of the saguaros!
Arizona is one of the only states where Harris's Hawks can be found in the wild.
Fun Harris' Hawk fact: Although the Harris's Hawk is found in the southern half of Arizona, southwest New Mexico, southern Texas, and all through Mexico and South America, cooperative hunting is only observed in the Sonoran Desert region of their range
See more Fun Facts here!