The Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation is a unique conservation effort, with a center in southern Alberta.
The Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation, located in Coaldale, Ab, is Alberta’s first privately licensed raptor rescue and conservation organization, and is a licensed charity whose mission is to preserve and protect wildlife and educate the public.
Our environmental mission is to conserve nature by rehabilitating and releasing injured birds of prey back to the wild.
We also participate in captive breeding and release of endangered species, such as Burrowing Owls, study and monitor wild birds of prey populations and encourage positive habitat stewardship through increased public environmental awareness.
As a non-political organization, we are not environmental critics or watch-dogs. Our strategy is to roll up our sleeves and initiate hands-on practical solutions which directly benefit wildlife and our environment.
We do not receive any government operating subsidies. We rely solely on donations in addition to people generously donating their time.
They are the first of their kind in the province, but what do we mean by raptors and birds of prey? The Foundation focuses its efforts on owls, hawks, eagles, and falcons, some of whom you see from a distance and some of whom you can meet up close.
The Centre opened in May for the summer season and are offering fun and exciting ways to learn about birds of prey, interact with some of them, and ways to enjoy their large site filled with paths, ponds, and the sound of birds. Many migratory birds stop at these ponds for summer so while you’re here, you may spot several other species of birds, too. The Foundation also opened this year with some big news: watch for them as the Foundation is featured on this season of Amazing Race Canada!
So, which birds of prey can you meet? The Foundation offers interactive owl meet and greets with both the resident Burrowing Owl and the Great Horned Owl (you can hold them). And while you can’t hold an eagle or a hawk, you can get quite close to them on the Hawk Walk, where the birds are perched at ground level and enjoy flying demonstrations.
These birds are highly trained, thanks to the work of staff and the pure intelligence of birds of prey. Therefore, the birds are free to fly and roam about the air; this allows them to get all the exercise their wings need. Their smarts also help the staff to put on flying demonstrations. Imagine watching a giant hawk land right in front of you after a giant swoosh of its wings!
The Foundation and Centre are dubbed as a must-see family experience in Alberta, and this is partly from the cool experiences they offer, but also the up-close look you get at their conservation efforts. You can take a walk through the paths and around the ponds to see aviaries dedicated to birds whose injuries prevent them from ever returning to the wild.
Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation is located 15 minutes east of Lethbridge and can easily be added as an experience to the summer visit to the city.
What: A conservation centre for large birds of prey like owls, hawks, and eagles; their facility includes 70 acres of wetlands and a visitor centre where guests can take part in interactive or educational experiences.
How to get there: 2124 16th Ave., Coaldale
15 minutes east of Lethbridge on Highway AB-3., 90 minutes from Medicine Hat, and about 2 hours 30 minutes from Calgary.
Best time to go: May to September
How much: $6-$14
For more information:
Phone: (403) 331-9520