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Falmouth Land Trust brings raptors to annual meeting

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Falmouth Land Trust brings raptors to annual meeting

FALMOUTH — The Falmouth Land Trust has invited some special guests to celebrate its 30th year – winged guests.

The non-profit organization Wind Over Wings, from Connecticut, will present a live raptor show from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at the University of Maine Foundation on Woodville Road for the trust's 30th annual meeting.

The presentation will feature four live birds, including a golden eagle, great horned owl, saw-whet owl and a Peregrine falcon.

"We make our programs humorous, educational and inspiring," Wind Over Wings Executive Director Hope Douglas said. "We try to empower."

Douglas, who was inspired to work with raptors after encountering an injured red-tailed hawk while traveling in Florida, said the presentation will include the stories of how these particular birds became part of the Wind Over Wings family and what people can do to help keep wild birds safe.

"We just got a new bald eagle from Maine," Douglas said. "He had a fractured collarbone."

Douglas said the Avian Haven in Freedom rehabilitated the eagle, but the bird will never fully recover from its injuries. As a result, it will be trained to sit on a handler's glove and become an "ambassador of education" for Wind Over Wings.

Douglas said she reads, sings and talks to the birds to gently coax them into trusting humans, rather than relying on traditional methods of training, such as rewarding the birds with food.

"It's a slow process, but when you put a bird through this, it's so rewarding," she said. "These birds have lost their freedom. I want them to enjoy their lives."

Attendees of all ages will be able to get close to the large birds and, Douglas said, hopefully be as inspired as she was when she first saw that red-tailed hawk in Florida.

"That's the point of founding Wind Over Wings," she said. "We want people to get up close and personal."

The Falmouth Land Trust event is free and open to the public. During the meeting, there will also be a presentation of the Land Trust's next big project, a four-mile path from the Hannaford supermarket in West Falmouth, through Community Park to the Hadlock Forest conservation area.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net