'Birds of Prey' flight demo entertains, educates SEWE crowd

'Birds of Prey' flight demo entertains, educates SEWE crowd
Photo Source: Live 5
Photo Source: Live 5

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Tens of thousands of people flocked to downtown Charleston for the 34th annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition this weekend.

One of the biggest crowds could be found in Marion Square watching the "Birds of Prey" flight demonstrations.

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The Avian Conservation Center and Center for Birds of Prey have been staging the flight demo's at SEWE since 2005.

This year the featured bird's included Harris Hawks who made their grand entrance from a nearby rooftop, a Black Vulture, a Barred Owl, a Kestrel, and a Yellow-Billed Kite.

The birds swooped from perch to perch, over the audience's head, and dove from the sky onto simulated prey below.

Although the shows are fun and exciting, the organization makes sure the shows are informative too.

"SEWE gives us a chance to educate 30,000 people in a single weekend. It can be a challenge, but the sheer number of people you can reach makes it worthwhile," Stephen Schabel, Director of Education at the Center for Birds of Prey, said.

Schabel has been with the organization since 2003 and he says the main message behind the flight demo's are to help people understand that what we do affects the world around us.

"We need to understand that everything we do has an impact, whether it's positive or negative, on everything around us," he said.

The "Birds of Prey" flight demo will be back at SEWE next year, doing its part to ensure people know what it takes to make a positive impact.

The center was established in 1991 and has helped more than 7,000 birds. It is located in Awendaw and is open to the public.

Click here for more information from their website.

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