A woman holds an owl as two little girls look on in amazement.

Raptors Find a Rapt Audience

Don’t you love the look on the face of a child when she’s introduced to another wonder of nature? My granddaughters had a rare opportunity recently to learn about raptors from Nikki Stamps, a state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator and master falconer who nurses these beautiful birds when they are in need of special care. As director of Bird in the Hand conservancy, Nikki has provided life-saving medical treatment and nursed literally hundreds of raptors back to health, so they can fly free again. She also gives demonstrations to audiences of all ages, hoping to inspire in others an appreciation for these magnificent birds of prey.

We grownups were as in awe as the children as Nikki brought out three different kinds of owls and talked to us about raptor biology and conservation. It reminds me that learning offers lifelong joy, and the more we learn the more we thirst for knowledge and understanding. Children take to learning instinctively. All they need from us is encouragement and moments that open the world to them.

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