Birds of Prey Exhibit takes Flight - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Birds of Prey Exhibit takes Flight

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January 26, 2007

Albany - It's been a wild ride for naturalist Jim Fowler. For more than 40 years, he's taught us about wildlife and the importance of protecting natural resources. Birds of prey really make his heart flutter. That's what got him started with Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and has him back in Albany working on a new exhibit.

Finding the right balance between technology and nature takes a little work. But when things level off, the results can reach new heights. Fowler, pointing to a model says, "This is where the birds of prey will be flown from, over to the amphitheater, this little house here."

Naturalist Jim Fowler designed an expanded Birds of Prey Park for Chehaw. He says it's a shame that an American symbol isn't seen by everyone who visits. "The American bald eagle is full of majesty and is a symbol for our country."

Birds of prey, like eagles, raptors and hawks are Fowler's passion. "I've always been a fan of birds of prey," he says. "When I first went up to do Wild Kingdom, I took an eagle from down here in Albany up to Chicago and did the pilot film for that."

And he hopes that you'll find a passion for the animals as well. Animals we should all appreciate since we all depend on them. He says, "Our future and our quality of life depends upon the existence of open space and wildlife and wilderness."

The new care center will host daily flights with the birds flying from this house to an open air amphitheater. But you'll have to come see them to appreciate them.

Fowler says, "If you don't see something close up how are you going to really care?" Fowler hopes the new exhibit will be open by late February or early March.

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