Alberta’s Birds of Prey Sanctuary, Coaldale

Harrier hawk
Harrier hawk – Photo courtesy: Bernard Dupont –

There is something magnetic about birds of prey. When I read about a foundation that released injured birds into the wild once they recovered, I knew this was somewhere I wanted to explore. Coaldale was an obscure little town east of Lethbridge with a gem of a sanctuary. There were cages housing recuperating hawks and other birds that are lost from memory. What I can’t forget, was holding up a piece of raw meat and having a harrier hawk swoop to retrieve the meat. I had never been so close to any bird of prey before and this beauty’s claws were wrapped on to my hand while it pecked on the meat. How lucky I was that day, because there were only three other people there when the presenter asked for a volunteer.

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