Children of all ages flocked to Halyburton Park Saturday, May 24, for the inaugural Cape Fear Audubon Society Discover the Wonders of Birds event.
Questions like how do birds fly; what do birds eat; how much do birds weigh; what environments do birds like and more were answered by the society’s range of interactive displays and activities.
Not knowing how much of a crowd to expect, Cape Fear Audubon president Charley Winterbauer said they ran out of coffee creamer with the large crowd of children, parents and adults on hand.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen but we ran out of booklets and creamer in the first half hour,” Winterbauer said.
Winterbauer and Cape Fear Audubon board member Katherine Nesbitt created the event after Winterbauer noticed a lack of youth in the society’s membership.
“I sat in one of our meetings and looked out to see all middle-aged people but no kids,” he said. “This is an attempt to get the kids interested … you can talk all you want about birds but the way to do it is to get hands on and that is what we are doing.”
Nesbitt was leading the bird drawing station where kids could pick a bird, learn how big its wingspan is and draw its outline on parchment paper. For an example, the outline of one of the largest flying birds in the world, the great albatross, was drawn with its 12-foot wingspan and weight of only 22 pounds.
“This is our first time with this event so we are really excited to see this crowd,” Nesbitt said. “We invited both children and adults so we have something for both here.”
Much to the dismay of many curious kids, one of the event’s main attractions, Eva the redtailed hawk from SkyWatch Bird Rescue, was unable to make a full appearance because she reinjured her shoulder during the truck ride to the park. However, those brave enough were allowed to lift up the cover on her cage and sneak a peek.
SkyWatch intern Emily Plaisted said a car struck Eva three years ago and she no longer has the ability to fly.
“She is not releasable because of her wing injury,” Plaisted said. “Everything else was fine except her ability to fly so we decided to turn her into a program bird so we could teach the public more about birds of prey.”
While picking through owl pellets to learn about their diet, Hayden Beauliew held up a tiny skull and said peeking into Eva’s cage was her favorite part of the day.
“There is a big hawk out there,” Beauliew said. “She was very big and had a very sharp beak.”
For more information about Cape Fear Audubon Society’s future events, visit www.