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IMNH to sponsor raptor presentations, backyard birdcount

February 2, 2009
ISU Marketing and Communications

The Idaho Museum of Natural History will host Trish Nixon, raptor specialist with The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey, who will give a public presentation on Feb. 10 with two live raptors, and the IMNH is partnering with the local Audubon Society to celebrate the 2009 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) Feb. 13-16.

Nixon will hold a public program Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 6:30 p.m. Standard museum admission fees apply, and Museum Members are free. The admissions desk and gallery will open at 6 p.m.

Nixon will share behind the scenes details and unique visuals focusing on The Peregrine Fund’s successful breeding of endangered birds such as California Condors and the release of these birds to the wild. Additionally, Nixon will discuss training of birds of prey for flight shows, and how she and her co-worker enrich the lives of captive raptors with play and games designed to enhance their lives and encourage them to perform behaviors they would display in the wild. Nixon will stay after the program for photo opportunities and a question and answer period.

Nixon also will visit six area elementary schools over a three-day period. This is an exciting opportunity for students because they never forget a face-to-face meeting with a bird of prey. Nixon has been involved in public speaking with live raptors for many years, and she annually visits scores of schools and speaks with thousands of school students of all ages. In addition, she regularly participates in various bird festivals and wildlife events through-out the country.  

For more information on Nixon's presentation, visit or contact Rebecca Thorne-Ferrel at (208) 282-2195 or The Museum is located on the campus of Idaho State University at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Dillon Street in Building #12. The gallery is regularly open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Great Backyard Birdcount is an annual four-day event that will be held Feb. 13-16, that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. The GBBC is led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, with sponsorship from Wild Birds Unlimited. More information can be found at

To help birdwatchers identify the birds, IMNH will be handing out free copies of Birds of the Inland Northwest and Northern Rockies. Starting Feb. 10, the public is invited to stop by IMNH during regular Gallery hours to pick up a free copy of the book. Supplies are limited. For more information, contact Dave Mead at the Idaho Museum of Natural History at (208) 282-3410 or


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