Boyd Hill’s Raptor Fest goes virtual, and you can “adopt” a bird of prey

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Raptor Fest returns to Boyd Hill Nature Preserve in St. Petersburg on February 6 — this year’s festivities will be entirely virtually to ensure the safety of everyone.

Friends of Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, the nonprofit organization supporting the City St. Petersburg’s 245-acre preserve, will take its biggest annual event virtual for 2021. This year, a new event, Raptor Fest @ Home will take place Saturday, February 6, at 10 am on Facebook.

Raptor Fest goes virtual in 2021

Don’t worry, the beauty, grace, and magnanimity of these raptors will still be on full display, even if just viewed on your cell phone.

Raptor Fest @ Home will be interactive and educational. Interested parties including individuals, businesses, and schools are invited to “adopt” a bird of prey. Based on the amount they contribute for the adoption, they will receive recognition during the live stream as well as other perks.

For eight years, Raptor Fest has been held at the Preserve in support of Boyd Hill’s Birds of Prey Program. It typically raises more than $10,000 and attracts around 5,000 people, along with dozens of local vendors and environmental organizations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Friends of Boyd Hill decided that holding the traditional event was not in the best interest of safety.

Raffle prizes galore

You can still take part in the raffle for goodies like this “Bundle of Birds!” basket, filled with:
  • (3) Bird Prints of a northern crested cara cara; snail kite; yellow crowned night Herron
  • (1) Birds of Pinellas book
Valued at $150, donated by Helen Taylor/John Costin/Susan McClintock on behalf of Birds of Prey. Tickets are available at the Boyd Hill Nature Center front desk for $1 each or 6 for $5, by cash or Paypal. Drawings will take place on Feb. 6 and winners will be contacted via phone or email. Get your tickets today and watch for more great raffle items!

245-acres of undisturbed beauty

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is home to 20 birds of prey, or raptors, deemed non-releasable by a licensed rehabilitator and carefully vetted to ensure that they can be safely handled and used in educational programs. The Friends of Boyd Hill and the City of St. Petersburg share costs for food, shelter, and veterinary services, as well as responsibility for the birds’ care and well-being.

Boyd Hill Nature preserves remains a tranquil oasis in the Sunshine City. The expansive nature trails offer a resplendent escape from the downtown area. It’s a home for birders, hikers, runners, and nature enthusiasts, and every bit of assistance helps keep this St. Pete gem alive.

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way South

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of ilovetheburg.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@ilovetheburg.com.