OUT Flight

Visitors can get up-close and personal with birds of prey during ”Raptors of the Desert Sky” at the High Desert Museum in Bend. The special program opens May 25 and is available daily at 11:30 a.m. through Sept. 2.

The High Desert Museum in Bend is soaring again as its signature outdoor avian flight program resumes through Labor Day.

“Raptors of the Desert Sky” features hawks, owls, falcons and turkey vultures, who soar from perches directly over the crowd. Visitors will get close to nature as they are seated in a natural amphitheater nestled in the museum’s pine forest. A museum expert provides narration and shares about the hunting strategies and natural behaviors of the spectacular birds of prey.

The seasonal program opens Saturday, May 25, and continues with daily shows through Monday, Sept. 2. “Raptors of the Desert Sky” is presented daily at 11:30 a.m., except for July 4. Weather conditions may result in a time change or cancellation.

“The outdoor flight program is a highlight of the High Desert Museum experience in the summertime,” said executive director Dana Whitelaw. “It’s an event we take great pride in sharing with visitors, learning about the raptors, their ecology and flight dynamics, is nothing short of a thrilling experience.”

General museum admission is $17, $14 for seniors and college students, and $10 for ages 3-12. Tickets for “Raptors of the Desert Sky,” which must be purchased by 11 a.m., are $5 or $3 for seniors and youths.

It’s a 15-minute walk from the museum admissions area to the trail entrance. The trail to the flight area may be difficult for strollers and wheelchairs. To protect the birds, there is no late entry and the gate closes at 11:25 a.m.

The High Desert Museum, which opened in 1982, highlights regional wildlife, culture, art and natural resources. Its mission is to promote an understanding of the natural and cultural heritage of North America’s High Desert country. Featuring both indoor and outdoor exhibit space, the museum showcases wildlife in natural habitats and offers living history demonstrations to help people discover and appreciate the High Desert environment. High Desert Museum was a 2018 finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

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