Turbo the Barbary falcon can fly at a speed of 100 mph, trainer Joyce Remp said while showing the raptor to young Keet Holdridge and his father, Jeff, at Evergreen Fine Art on Saturday.
Turbo was among a host of falcons that garnered lots of attention during the Nature’s Educators event. From a large golden eagle to a tiny screech owl, birds took the stage, giving occasional squawks and flapping their wings.
Artists were also taking in avian views as they painted images of the regal birds on canvas and paper.
In one room of the gallery, Mike Unti was sketching a great horned owl held by trainer Gene Albright, who was hoping the bird wouldn’t grasp his arm too tightly. The great horned owl can grip with pressure up to 500 pounds per square inch, Albright said.
The birds displayed by Nature’s Educators have been injured and are not able to be released into the wild. Volunteer trainers work with the raptors to acclimate them to people.
Nature's Educators is a nonprofit, volunteer educational wildlife program focusing on raptors that offers programs to organizations and schools.
The organization is licensed by Aurora Animal Control, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep non-releasable raptors for educational purposes.