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Returning to flight: Raptor release draws large crowds to Carpenter Nature Center

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Kayla Wolfe of the University of Minnesota Raptor Center shows a red-tailed hawk to the crowd at Carpenter Nature Center on Sept. 16. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 10
Gabriel Mann, 8, of Prescott, gets a close-up look at a bald eagle during the raptor release event Sept. 16 at Carpenter Nature Center. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 10
Shahar Fearing and Lotem Fearing, 4, check out a great horned owl wing and a talon held by Amber Taylor of the University of Minnesota Raptor Center. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 10
Longtime Carpenter Nature Center volunteer Paul Boettcher releases a broad-winged hawk that had been rehabilitated at the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 10
Kayla Wolfe of the University of Minnesota Raptor Center shows a red-tailed hawk to camera-wielding raptor enthusiasts at Carpenter Nature Center on Sept. 16. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 10
A rehabilitated bald eagle is released by Trevor Ames, a professor and dean of the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine. The college is home to the Raptor Center, which held its fall raptor release Sept. 16 at Carpenter Nature Center. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia7 / 10
A great horned owl that is part of the University of Minnesota Raptor Center's group of education birds. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia8 / 10
Jennifer Vieth, executive director of Carpenter Nature Center, greets the hundreds of visitors at the Sept. 16 raptor release event. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia9 / 10
Malcolm Smith prepares to release a red-tailed hawk into the wild with help from Gail Buhl of the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia10 / 10

Hundreds of raptor enthusiasts, many wielding binoculars and long-lens cameras, gathered at Carpenter Nature Center Saturday, Sept. 16, to watch and cheer rehabilitated birds' return to the wild.

The dramatic return to flight for several raptors, including hawks and a bald eagle, was the main attraction for the University of Minnesota Raptor Center's raptor release event at Carpenter.

The birds that were released had been brought by the public to the Raptor Center in St. Paul, usually after being found with injuries or an inability to fly. The Raptor Center then rehabilitated the birds. Some 600 to 800 birds are brought to the Raptor Center each year.

In addition to the raptor releases, held in the morning and afternoon, Carpenter and the Raptor Center also had education birds on hand for people to observe up close, interpretive stations and other activities.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

(651) 459-7600
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