Rapt about raptors

WARNING: The words of this article cannot express the enthusiasm, passion and knowledge shared during this event but we will try!

Here at NACC we are fortunate to meet some truly aspiring people and the guest speakers at last week’s Birds of Prey event proved to be no exception!

The workshop was held at Batavia Coast Maritime Institute and featured presentations from well-known ecologist and Wedge-tail Eagle enthusiast Simon Cherriman along with local bird enthusiasts Janelle and Shannon from Just Raptors. 

(Yes, Simon is that tall and yes NACC’s Biodiversity team is that short – Note: Jessica on her toes!)

What followed next was an entertaining and educational evening and it did not take long for everyone in the room to become rapt about raptors!

The eager crowd of more than 40 attendees could not contain their excitement when upon arrival they came face-to-face with two real life raptors – Willow the Barn Owl and Bowie the Whistling Kite.

Let us be honest here and mention that the NACC Team were just as captivated as the guests were.

NACC’s Bushcare Officer Vanessa Brown gets up close and personal with a local raptor.

After introductions to both people and birdlife, it was time for the learning to begin.

Just Raptors

First up it was the Just Raptors crew, talking about their family run rehabilitation centre that cares for injured birds of prey located in Geraldton. Janelle’s passion was on display as she spoke about the many threats that our local raptors face – cars, humans, poisons, rubbish and debris. She shared a final heart felt story about a dearly departed rehabilitated raptor before Simon flew on the stage to talk about his research.

Simon Cherriman 

Standing over seven feet tall, some may say Simon has his head in the clouds, but we at NACC think he has a great view of the natural world. Simon said he had always been fascinated by the link between humans and nature, how we separate ourselves from it, how we depend on society for many things, but how ultimately we are just elements of a natural system. Mother Nature surrounds us and influences all that we do, directly or indirectly. He writes and uses photographs, films and public speaking to help tell the stories of the Australian bush to people.

And that is exactly what he did – describing the tell-tale signs for raptor identification, recounting his satellite tracking research and sharing his love for extreme photography.

In addition to gaining some fantastic knowledge about raptors throughout the evening, guests were thrilled when given the chance to get up close and personal with Bowie – with the young and young-at-heart mesmerised by the birds’ watchful eyes and powerful beak.


To follow the movements of Wallu, the first ever Wedge-tailed Eagle to be satellite tracked, and other eagles subsequently satellite-tagged in WA please visit http://wedge-tailedeagletracking.blogspot.com.au/

And for more information about what to do if you find an injured raptor, please visit Toot Your Horn For Wedge-Tail Eagles http://www.wedgetaileagle.org.au/first-aid

This project was supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State Natural Resource Management Program, supported by Royalties for Regions and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

WHAT IS A RAPTOR? The word raptor is derived from ``rapere,`` a Latin word which means to seize or capture. More specifically, a raptor is a bird of prey. A bird of prey is a carnivore (meat eater) that kills and eats mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, rodents as well as other birds. Many birds hunt, kill, and eat meat, but they may not be raptors. There are three distinguishing traits that make raptors different from other birds: hooked beaks with sharp edges feet with sharp, curved claws or talons keen eyesight

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1 comment

Thanks to NACC for organising/hosting this great event on Raptors!
Well done.

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