Breaking News
More () »

World Center for Birds of Prey set to open expansion on Earth Day

After a couple of years of work, the center is ready to unveil its new features, exhibits and welcome center on Saturday.

BOISE, Idaho — Boise is a home to one of the most influential conservation projects, with impacts on communities around the globe.

The World Center for Birds of Prey is the headquarters of the Peregrine Fund, a non-profit organization "that works all over the world on behalf of raptors or birds of prey," Director of the World Center for Birds of Prey, Tate Mason said.

Mason said the longtime center is set to fully launch a new expansion on Earth Day, which is Saturday, April 22.

“When somebody visits the World Center for Birds of Prey, they're visiting an active conservation organization. We've got projects in at least 27 countries around the world," Mason said. "When students or visitors come here, we create the World Center for Birds of Prey as a lens, as a portal into the projects around the world."

Conservation work at the World Center for Birds of Prey has greatly impacted the world of birds in an amazing way, that is recognized with a new feature exhibit front and center, a look back to the early days.

“Our first project was a recovery of the peregrine falcon, one of the most successful conservation stories of all time,” Mason said. “One of the new additions is this amazing art wall behind me, the Inspiration Wall, an original piece by artist Ross Madsen.  It's just one of the most inspired pieces of art that I think I've ever seen."

The new welcome center sets the tone for visitors – new and returning.

“We thought long and hard about how we wanted people to experience the World Center for Birds of Prey. So, we had this expansive, open entryway, personal greeting from somebody that you'll meet when you come in," Mason said. "Then we start off with that successful conservation story of the peregrine falcon, and so the peregrine falcon exhibit is just right up front – the first thing you're going to see when you come in." 

Just around the corner is a space that will be a Birds of Prey learning grounds for generations to come. The Open Skye Theater will help tell the stories that perpetuate the existence of Birds of Prey. 

Take the inaugural mission of the Peregrine Fund as an example story, it’s one that still has impacts today.

“The recovery of the peregrine falcon really positively affected all 10,000 species of birds on planet Earth because of the removal of DDT from the landscape – the identification of widespread poisoning of wildlife," Mason said. "That stuff has been fixed because of that restoration efforts on the peregrine falcon."

Unique perspectives and lessons continue at the Idaho Power Flight Lab, a real look into changes people have made to keep bird communities healthy.

“The Idaho Powered Flight Lab is an exhibit that explains the connection between Morley Nelson and Idaho Power and how they developed utility infrastructure that keeps raptors from getting electrocuted," Mason said. "These advancements that were made in the 1970s right here in Boise, Idaho, have been adopted worldwide and have saved countless raptors." 

Mason and the entire team at the World Center for Birds of Prey will tell you, the efforts here in Boise make a worldwide impact. The experience, lessons and stories are a unique experience.

“When people come out here, they experience conservation and action. They will interact with people that have dedicated their lives to saving species around the world.  Then they'll also see raptors from around the world," Mason said. "Raptors are some of the most charismatic species on planet Earth and to be that close to a peregrine falcon or a bald eagle or harpy eagle, a California condor, I think that when people come here, they connect with the bird themselves, but also the mission of preserving not only raptors but preserving nature in general."

The World Center for Birds of Prey invite the community to join them for the official ribbon cutting on their new additions. 

The day full of special activities begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday with the ribbon cutting at World Center for Birds of Prey, located at 5668 West Flying Hawk Lane in Boise.

Join 'The 208' conversation:


KTVB is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the KTVB mobile app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Before You Leave, Check This Out