NMU Fisheries and Wildlife Association host Fifth Annual Birds of Prey event

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MARQUETTE – It was a packed house at Jamrich Hall as dozens turned out for the 5th annual Birds of Prey event hosted by the NMU Fisheries and Wildlife Association.

Open to the public, both the Northwoods Wildlife Center and Chocolay Raptor Center brought in live birds and other wildlife with a single goal in mind.

“To appreciate the nature that the U.P. has to offer and to see the live birds up close because it’s not an opportunity you get all too often,” said Abby Blanchard, President of the Fisheries and Wildlife Association. “Also to get a great promotion for our organization and to see it grow throughout the years.”

As a rehab facility, the Chocolay Raptor Center treat a variety of sick and injured birds.

“Today’s very special, we have the debut of Ray, she’s our American Kestrel,” said Bob Jensen, Co-Founder of Chocolay Raptor Center. “We took her in last year and she’s non-releasable so we’ve added her to the group of birds we take out now so everybody can look forward to seeing Ray.”

While there’s plenty of work being done now to help those animals in need, the goal is to get others interested.

“The more important goal is education, teaching kids,” said Jensen. “If we can get kids hooked on birds, they’ll be advocates for their entire livee. That’s the biggest thing we can do to help the bird population now is helping their protection and have these kids come out of here as advocates for the rest of their lives.”

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