One of the places Cava has most wanted to visit in our area is the Carolina Raptor Center. The boy loves all birds of prey and the chance to see some up close, in particular the Peregrine Falcon, got him so excited that he barely slept the night before we went. He has checked out numerous books from the library on them and even had his own encounter with a Barred Owl in our backyard (to read about it, go to http://snapshotsfromourjourney.blogspot.com/2015/05/cavas-owl-adventure.html).
It was only about a 30 minute drive from our house but that wasn't close enough for Cava. You would've thought we were going to Disney World again.
He was practically coming out of his seat when we pulled into the parking lot. Usually, because his nose is in a book, Cava is the last to get out of the car wherever we go, but not today. "Come on, ya'll," he kept calling to us (It cracks me up to hear him say, "ya'll.") While we waited in line to buy tickets, he looked about the gift shop looking for something he could buy with his two dollars. He soon learned that two dollars will buy you very little in any gift shop. "$17 for a poster," he declared loudly, "are you kidding me???"
Once we had our tickets, he forgot about wanting to spend his money and was ready to see some raptors.
He was not disappointed. First, he was amazed at how large a raven is, especially compared to the crow. But neither stood a chance for keeping his attention when he saw on the map that the Peregrine Falcon was just ahead. And he was the first one of us to get there.
He was also thrilled to see Merlin. As he looked at each one, he kept saying, "This is soooo awesome!"
He did take time to stop and make a birdfeeder out of a pinecomb, Crisco, and bird seed.
Or to see how long his arms were in comparison to the wing span of different sized hawks. (Although it looks more like he's up before a firing squad).
Then it was back to the Raptor Trail and on to the eagles!
"WOW! Would you look at that!"
Is it any wonder that one of his favorite Bible verses is Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles . . ."
After making our way along the trail and seeing numerous owls and vultures, we went to the ampitheater to see the RSI Flight Show. It was a spoof of CSI with the two "detectives" investigating the murder of a small mammal to see which bird of prey did it. When they asked for a volunteer from the audience, Cava's hand shot up first.
Here were some of the suspects:
For his assistance, Cava was thrilled to get an RSI Badge. He even got to have his photo taken up close with two of the birds of prey. While he didn't want to get too close to the vulture . . .
. . . he did want his big brother with him when he got his photo taken with one of the hawks.
We were fortunate to go on a day when they had free ice cream, which we devoured since it was 93 degrees and hot despite the shade of the trees. Then Cava got to go Meet the Raptor show. He loved getting to touch an owl's wing and handle a talon . . .
When they brought out a Barred Owl, Cava got a chance to tell them all about his encounters with a baby one in our backyard.
For anyone in the Charlotte area, we highly recommend a visit to the Carolina Raptor Center. It's a great way to spend time as a family and learn about raptors, which, as Cava will gladly tell you, "Are soooo cool!"
To find out more about the Carolina Raptor Center, here is a link to their website: