Vancouver Island Travel: The Amazing Raptor Centre near Duncan BC

Sight Seeing

Man has always shared a keen fascination with birds. Who has not looked up and possibly gasped in awe at the sight of a bird, flying freely overhead? Whether it’s a rare sighting of a bald eagle or a tiny chickadee, there is just something about birds that never fails to draw our curiosity and attention. Most of the time, we confine ourselves observing them effortlessly glide in the air from afar. Now, you can satiate your curiosity and interact with these magnificent airborne creatures up close at the Pacific Northwest Raptor Centre.

Flying Demonstrations and Tours

Situated north of Duncan on Vancouver Island about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Victoria, the centre houses birds of prey and raptors of all kinds, which are all skilled and known to interact quite comfortably with people. Since these birds are not confined in cages, you can enjoy an unhampered view of the birds. So if you do plan to visit, make sure to bring along your camera to capture this rare opportunity.

Trips to Pacific Northwest Raptor Centre have enjoyed growing popularity especially among kids. Educational tours and family holiday packages have been organized to provide kids a chance to experience and learn from rare close encounters with these exotic birds. In fact, the Pacific Northwest Raptors was given the Tourism Vancouver Island “Raising the Bar” award back in 2009.   This is in recognition of the highly innovative educational programs.

They have also conducted a number of well-attended flying demonstrations with fascinating breeds like the Bald Eagles. All staff are proficient and experienced in handling these birds as well as in employing every imaginable safety precaution. If you have kids in tow raring for an adventure weekend trip, this is the perfect destination for families and large groups.

Meet and Greet the Birds

As you step onto the facility, you may feel like you have been transported back into another century. You will be fascinated to know that most of these birds have quite a personality of their own; And why not? They are practically celebrities in their own right. A number of the birds were actually named after the characters in the movie Lord of the Rings.

One of the striking personas that is hard to miss is Galadriel, a magnificent looking ferruginous hawk. She often gazes at you, looking every bit the regal queen. Alongside her is Gimli and Striker, a pair of very active Harris hawks. There are also a number of smaller birds, such as Pippin, the Lanner falcon – known to be the noisiest member of the flock.

Bald Eagle

Take a Crash Course on Falconry

The centre is open and flies birds six days a week, starting from April all through October. If you are the adventurous type who is simply not content with only watching, you can also take a half-day falconry course.

In the course, you will have a chance to meet the birds as well as learn and experience for yourself the 4,000 year old sport of falconry. After a few rounds of practice, you will have the chance to transfer a bird from its perch to your gauntleted hand. You will also get to see up close how they nail their prey “lures” with unerring precision. It’s definitely a rare opportunity you want to experience for yourself.

Birds of Prey and Raptors

You can view as well as take photos of the following centre-bred raptors and birds:

  • Eagles
  • Owls
  • Hawks
  • Vultures
  • Falcons

Operating Hours

Open daily, except on Wednesdays
11:00 AM to 4:30 PM
From Mid-April to Mid-October

General Admission Fees

Adults:                                               $12
Children 3-12:                                                 $ 6
Children under 4:                         Free
Seniors (over 65):                       $10
Youth 13-17:                                     $ 10

Family(2 adults, 2 children): $34
Seasons Pass (Family):            $65
Seaons Pass (Adult):                 $30
Seasons Pass (Child):                               $20

Contact Details

Address:            Pacific Northwest Raptors Ltd
1877 Herd Road
Duncan, B.C.
V9L 5W4

Phone: (250) 746-0372
Fax : (250)-746-0115
E-mail: pnwraptors@shaw.ca
Website: www.pnwraptors.com

Getting There

  • From Duncan, take the Trans Canada Highway. Approximately 4 kilometres (2.48 miles) north, turn right on Herd Road and drive past Lakes.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Amazing Vancouver Island and a clickable link back to this page.

Publisher of Amazing Vancouver Island. Doug grew up in Kamloops and Vancouver. He is also the President of KIAI Angency, an Internet Marketing and Branding agency in Vancouver. He is an avid photographer and you can see his many pix of Vancouver Island on Flickr.

4 Comments

  1. Are specific times during the day for interaction with the birds and having the birds to various bird like things..

    Reply
  2. I lived in Nanaimo all my life and it took quite a while for me to visit this Raptor site. Itls very well setup and has some amazing eagles. I can’t wait to get back there again.

    Reply
    • I’m glad to hear it! Have you heard of the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association? It is a raptor (and black bear) rehabilitation site in Errington.

      Reply
  3. love your facility ,looking forward to seeing it again when visiting B.C.

    Reply

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