(PUEBLO) — The Nature and Wildlife Discovery’s Raptor Center has served the winged community of Pueblo for just over 40 years.
Director of the raptor center, Diana Miller’s educator, Theo, is a peregrine falcon. And his wings are not just for looks.
“This is the fastest animal we believe on the planet,” Miller said. “So, he can actually reach speeds of more than 200 miles an hour when he’s diving.”
This little guy, and the rest of the flock, can all be found at the raptor center, which was founded in 1981. They provide education for the people on their tours, and a concentrated focus on rehabilitation.
“When people find them sick, injured or orphaned… and they can come to us for care and hopefully we can help the bird out to eventually be able to return it back to the wild,” Miller said.
Over the years, the center has allowed over 7,500 birds to soar to new heights.
“They get hit by cars, they fly into picture windows, they get snagged on barbed wire fences and so they come in with some pretty dramatic and traumatic injuries,” Miller said.
The center also said when they help the birds of prey, it also in turn helps their environment.
“Birds of Prey are at the top of the food chain, so they are a really important indicator species for what’s happening in the environment, because whatever is happening below them on the food chain is directly related [to] their populations,” Miller said.
Also, helping hawks has an added bonus of giving back.
“Seventy, eighty percent of the time, what actually happens to them to cause their injuries is often directly related to what we’re doing,” Miller said. “So, we feel it’s really kind of important to try to give back to the birds in any way that we can.”
If you want to walk, stop or even fly by, the raptor center is the place to be.
“We do offer public tours every other Saturday and then also private tours and you just need to make an appointment in advance for that.”