On the Road: Carolina Raptor Center

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - If you love wildlife, especially birds of prey, then the Carolina Raptor Center is a trip worth taking.

The center is home to 25 different species of raptors including, owls, eagles, vultures, and falcons.

Michelle Houck works at the Raptor Center and says some of the birds have a permanent home there, like a barred owl who was found in 1999 hit by a car and is now blind. Some of the other residents are there for a little rehabilitation before being released into the wild.

The birds are a vital part of our earth, providing environmental indicators. When birds get sick, humans could get sick too. Houck also says the birds are like mother nature's vacuum cleaners.

"A healthy barn owl might eat 8 to 10 mice in an evening and so can you imagine what would happen if you didn't have these guys around your house? So these guys are the predators you want in your neighborhood," said Houck.

The Raptor Center is just about 20 minutes from downtown Charlotte inside the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve.

Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children. You can find more information at http://www.carolinaraptorcenter.org/