Green Chimneys’ Famous Annual Event to Celebrate Magnificent Birds of Prey
When the 75-acre Green Chimneys Farm opened a school for very young children, every building on the property had a chimney that was painted green. Back then, no one could have known how important the color would become to the future of the organization – and to our planet. Green Chimneys has truly been green for the past 70 years, helping children to understand the importance of nature and their connection to it.
This philosophy has been key in Green Chimneys’ approach to helping children with special needs. The Green Chimneys Farm & Wildlife Center is home to over 200 domesticated farm animals and wildlife including 50 birds of prey, such as an Andean condor; Griffon vulture; numerous hawks, falcons, and owls; several crows; and permanently disabled bald and golden eagles. Through the care and rehabilitation of these animals, Green Chimneys students learn the true meaning of stewardship. They come face-to-face with the fact that animals can be needy and that the students can play a role in nursing them back to health. It’s an important lesson for children who have special needs of their own: It’s the opportunity to move from being a service receiver to being a service provider. Today the Green Chimneys wildlife program provides valuable education and interactive experiences not only for students of Green Chimneys School but for the larger community, as well. Part of this is the annual Birds of Prey Day, launched over 25 years ago as a fundraiser to build Green Chimneys’ very first aviary. It has since grown into a full-day educational program and celebration of birds of prey and the environment, hosting thousands of visitors.
On Sunday, June 3, Green Chimneys continues its famous tradition featuring more than 100 birds of prey on display with falconers from across New York and Connecticut. Visitors will have a chance to get “up close and personal” with majestic eagles, hawks, owls and falcons and learn from top wildlife and environmental experts such as: Jim Fowler of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom; Jonathan Wood (The Raptor Project); Bill Robinson (Wildlife Lectures); Brian Bradley (Skyhunters in Flight); James Eyring (Pace Environmental Center); Erik Callender (Reptile Adventures); Nature Nick’s Animal Adventures; Two By Two Zoo; and the New York State Falconry Association.
High points of the day include free-flying raptors, live animal demonstrations, and an opportunity to witness the release of a rehabilitated bird with the help of a graduating student – a very significant moment for Green Chimneys’ staff and student rehabilitators, as well as the numerous wildlife professionals in attendance. Other animal highlights include introductions to exotic species under the main tent, the animal residents of the Green Chimneys Farm & Wildlife Center and always, some four-footed (or no-footed) surprise guests! View details at www.greenchimneys.org/preyday
June 3 Event Schedule
Doors open: 10:00 a.m.; Animal & Birds of Prey Demos: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; Live Stage Show: 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Ceremonial Bird Release: 4:30 p.m.
Adults $15; Kids $5; Seniors $5; Family Pass $35. FREE for military with ID and scouts in uniform.
Birds of Prey Day is one of Green Chimneys’ largest fundraising events and welcomes approximately 3,000 people to its 200-acre Brewster, NY, campus each year. The 2018 celebration has been made possible through generous sponsorship from M&T Bank; Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center; Mitchell Energy; KWM Financial; Utter Brothers Feed Supply; and The News-Times/Hearst Media Services.