The annual Bridger Raptor Festival was held this past weekend, October 7-8, at the Bridger Bowl ski area in Bozeman, MT. The popular event coincides each year with the largest known golden eagle migration in the United States. Yellowstone National Park is also home to a wide variety of raptors (some of which use the park only during migration). These impressive birds of prey play a key role in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
The festival was highlighted by kid-friendly nature activities, walks and talks. And of course a raptor festival wouldn’t be the same without actual raptors. A number of live birds were on display from the Montana Raptor Conservation Center and the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center including hawks, owls, and a vulture (these are education raptors that were injured and unable to return to the wild).
Yellowstone Forever was a proud participant and sponsor of the festival this year. Our Institute staff were there offering a nature journaling activity and had animal tracks and skulls out for visitors to try and guess which animal they belonged to.
We were honored to be involved with the Raptor Fest once again alongside so many fantastic organizations.
Pilgrim, a captive turkey vulture, sunning himself at an outside exhibit space. The Montana Raptor Conservation Center had three education raptors on display for visitors to get a close-up view and to learn more about each bird.
The festival was filled with enthusiastic and curious kids. This young lady visits the Yellowstone Forever table and tries to guess which print belonged to the mountain lion.
Otis the Northern Saw-Whet Owl is incredibly small and not surprisingly one of the more popular birds cared for at the Montana Raptor Conservation Center.
A presentation by the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center based out of West Yellowstone, MT.
A young boy and family, intrigued by this stuffed owl, stop by the Forest Service table.
Bu, a great horned owl, on display from the Montana Raptor Conservation Center.
The Montana Outdoor Science School (MOSS) leads a group on a nature walk part way up the ski hill.
A Yellowstone Forever Institute instructor shows off a black bear print to a group of curious kids.
Chaco, a Swainson’s Hawk, on display from the Montana Raptor Conservation Center.
Kids of all ages enjoyed the face painting activity with designs in the shape of various types of raptors.
Yellowstone Forever sponsored the kick-off event for the Raptor Festival on Friday night. The event featured a free screening of The Eagle Huntress, a powerful documentary about a thirteen-year-old Aisholpan girl who trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle huntress.
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