Birds of Prey Nature Programs
Birds of Prey Shows and Nature Events
Along with our feathered staff, Conservationist and Master Falconer Dale Arrowood of Winged Ambassadors will give you a live and exciting show with our Birds of Prey Show! Enjoy live flight demonstrations as you learn about Georgia’s indigenous birds of prey.
The cost per person is only $7. Shows begin at 10:30 am
2022 Birds of Prey Nature Program Calendar!
April – 23rd and 30th
May – 14th and 28th
June – 4th and 25th (June 18th was cancelled)
July – 2nd, 9th (Cancelled due to weather) and 23rd
August – 6th and 20th
September – 3rd, 17th and 24th
October – 8th, 15th and 22nd
November – 5th
*Show dates are subject to change. Call our office for most up-to-date information.
Our Newest Feathered Staff Member!
Come out and meet our new Staff member, “Liberty”! She is a beautiful American Bald Eagle and is an imprinted raptor with visual problems that prevents her from being released into the wild. If she were released, she would die. Liberty arrived on July 31st at our conservancy. She has already captured our hearts and we all love her. She is beautiful and definitely sassy with a mind of her own. She would love to meet any and all who care to come out and see our educational live bird of prey show!
Liberty loves getting out to spread her wings during our shows and has been training to fly in even larger venues like school and sport stadiums! Don’t forget to stop by her enclosure on your next visit to say hello!
Ancient Art of Falconry
The Ancient Art of Falconry program at Historic Banning Mills allows you to have a once in a lifetime personal experience with live raptors!
Our guests have the chance to learn the history of falconry, a basic introduction to equipment used, weighing, feeding, housing and permitting of the birds. Guests will then have a chance to experience live handling, training, and flying of the birds. Fieldwork will include the use of the lure. Our program uses the Eurasian Eagle-owl, Barbary, Saker and Lanner falcons. Our participants will get to see several of the indigenous raptors but Federal regulations prohibit anyone, other than a licensed falconer, to handle indigenous species of birds of prey.
The program is 4 to 5 hours long. Price is $300 for up to 4 participants. For more than 4 guests, add an additional $60 per person. The maximum number of participants is 10. Must be at least 10 years old to participate. This program is open all year long except major holidays and December 22nd through January 2nd.
Please call 770-834-9149 to book your Art of Falconry Experience!
Live Flight Falcon Hunts
Can you hear the call of the wild?
The Live Flight Falcon Hunts at Historic Banning Mills introduce you to the species of falcons and hawks used to hunt small game. Dale Arrowood, master falconer, will teach you the history of falconry and the hunt, equipment needed and used, and the basics of what to do and what not to do on a hunt. Dale will then take the guests out for a live, small game hunt with the Falcons. An exciting adventure awaits as you watch the Falcons at the hunt! The program is from 4 to 6 hours.
Price is $350 for up to 4 participants. Each additional person over 4th participant is $65 per person. Maximum number at a time is 6 participants. Must be at least 10 years old to participate. Hunts can be done only from October thru March of each year.
Please call 770-834-9149 to book your Falcon Hunt!
Meet our Master Falconer!
Meet Conservationist and Master Falconer Dale Arrowood and his Winged Ambassadors!
Dale Arrowood, Master Falconer
Dale started working with raptors in the late 60’s as a young boy growing up on the family’s farm in Palmetto, Ga. He became interested while watching Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” on Sunday afternoons with Jim Fowler and Marlin Perkins.
When he began to work with and learn about these beautiful creatures, he developed an interest in the ancient art and sport of falconry.
Dale continued to work and hunt with his birds of prey while serving in law enforcement. After 27 years in law enforcement, Dale was forced to retire due to a cervical injury. However, his injury did not stop his work with raptors.
Soon after retiring, a job opportunity to work at Callaway Gardens presented itself to Dale. Dale trained their birds of prey as well as opened their raptor programs. He was able to stay and lecture for four years.
Dale had the fortune to work with Jim Fowler, Okeefenokee Joe and others who later aided him in fulfilling his dream of establishing an educational show called “Winged Ambassadors.”
Over the years, Dale has trained and flown several species of falcons, hawks, owls, vultures, and eagles. His show ranges from pure falconry purposes to education, and even lecture opportunities throughout the southeast.
During his leisure time, Dale spends time in the fields with his raptor companions, spending his day looking into the skies as the bonds with his birds of prey are renewed.
Dale brings extensive knowledge into his programs and receives support from both Auburn University and his life-long hero and close friend, Jim Fowler.
Come visit Dale and his Winged Ambassadors in our outside theater and experience our Birds of Prey Show.
Meet The Feathered Team
Eurasian Eagle Owls
Czar is a Eurasian Eagle Owl. The Eurasian Eagle Owl is larger than most hawk species. Czar can grow to be as big as 22″ long and have a wingspan of 41″.
The Eurasian Eagle Owl is commonly found in North America, Europe & Russia. They are native to a Woodland habitat. They hunt small birds and mammals. They can attain sizes of 30 inches with a wind span of 6’2″. Their flight territory range is 1500 to 10,000 acres! They are very territorial and will attack bears or wolves if they come near its nest! When they find a mate, they are mates for life. In ancient times, the Eurasian Goshawk was considered a sacred bird and only allowed to be flown by nobility for falconry or hunts. Even with colder climates, these owl are very territorial do not migrate to warmer climates in winter. These owls can live up to 20 years in the wild and a distinct feature are their red orange eyes.
The most widely distributed of the owl species, it is nocturnal and needs open spaces to hunt. Barn owls do not hoot but “screech”. Since many choose to nest in barns and old abandoned buildings, many an intruder has been scared silly by the eerie screech of these owls. Barn Owls mostly eat rodents and small mammals and can live up to 30 years old.
Red Tail Hawks
One of the larger raptors in North, Central and South America, red tails can be recognized by their distinct shrill cry. Red tails will mate at 3 years old and will mate for life. They hunt in pairs and will fight over food even in the air. Red tail eggs are Green inside! They can’t move their eyes and so must move their heads in all directions to see.
What is Mantling?
Mantling is hunching or arching shoulders and spreading wings over a recent kill to conceal it from other birds and predators who would be potential thieves. In this posture, the wings are mostly spread and drooped to the ground, exposing the bird’s upper back, also called the mantle, which gives the action its name. The head is usually bent down to feed, and the tail is often spread and drooped to provide additional cover and counterbalance.
While You're here, check out the Beautiful Natural Scenery!
Snake Creek Gorge Wildflower Eco-Tours and Birds of Prey Shows
Springtime in the Snake Creek Gorge at Banning Mills presents a diverse and beautiful array of wildflowers and plants.
Every season at Banning Mills affords a beautiful nature experience on the historic and unique nature trails.
We are not a park. All guests must register at the front desk before accessing any trail systems. There is a $7.00 per person charge to hike the trails. All Proceeds are donated back to the conservancy.