Raptors “taking off” at Jackson Hole Airport

JACKSON, WY — It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… a bird AND a plane!

Teton Raptor Center and Jackson Hole Airport just announced a new raptor education program partnership to draw attention to the area’s frequent feathered flyers.

Flights and Feathers allows summer travelers to experience live raptors up-close as they arrive at Jackson Hole Airport. Various owls, hawks, falcons, and eagles will be waiting in the airport baggage area with Teton Raptor Center human educators every Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

In addition, on Fridays between 7:00-9:00 a.m., departing airport ticketed travelers will learn about a specific Teton Raptor Center avian ambassador once they pass through TSA Security and head for the departure lounge.

“TRC staff and birds will showcase how special the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is through the eyes of raptors,” said Airport Director Jim Elwood, “and no other airport in the world offers such unique and memorable experience for travelers … only in Jackson Hole! We are very excited to bring this program to JAC and hope that it will give airport users an introduction to wildlife safety and education while they are visiting this amazing ecosystem.”

Do you spot the teeny tiny owl? That’s Otus, an Eastern Screech Owl, and TRC Volunteer Nancy Shea sharing raptor information in Jackson Hole Airport’s Baggage Claim area during the Flights and Feathers Raptor Education Program. Photo: Jackson Hole Airport

As many as 13,000 people will have the opportunity to see live raptors upon arrival, as 8 planes typically land in Jackson between 11:30 and 1:30 during the summer months. This new educational partnership will allow Teton Raptor Center to capture visitors’ attention with live birds as soon as they arrive in the airport and help them create awareness off the wildlife found throughout the area.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to share these magnificent apex predators and instill upon visitors that this area is truly a special place. Flights and Feathers also allows Teton Raptor Center to expand our mission of raptor conservation through education, research and rehabilitation” said David Watson, TRC Development Director.

In 2018, Teton Raptor Center conducted 389 educational programs for over 31,000 participants, conducted 12 raptor-related research projects, cared for 127 injured, ill or orphaned raptors (21 species) at its rehabilitation clinic, and distributed over 3,000 Poo-Poo Screens to protect cavity-nesting birds.

For more information on the Flights and Feathers educational partnership, contact Teton Raptor Center at 307.203.2551, [email protected], or check out their website.

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