Published On: Mon, Apr 16th, 2012

Park to host Birds of Prey Program

     Great Smoky Mountains National Park is teaming up with the Balsam Mountain Trust for a special program on Birds of Prey at the Oconaluftee Multipurpose Room on Thursday, April 26.

     Michael Skinner, Executive Director of the Balsam Mountain Trust, will conduct an hour-long Birds of Prey program beginning at 1pm. This program will provide visitors with an up-close glimpse of some of the planet’s most recognized and revered wild animals such as the tiny eastern screech owl and northern bald eagle.

     “We are delighted to welcome Balsam Mountain Preserve to the park for this program.” said Lynda Doucette, Supervisory Park Ranger, “This is an opportunity for park visitors to see and learn about these beautiful birds first hand.”

      Balsam Mountain Trust is a local non-profit whose mission is the stewardship of the natural and cultural resources on Balsam Mountain Preserve and the Blue Ridge Mountain region, through effective land management practices, scientific research, and environmental education. The Trust has earned special distinction as a place where non-releasable birds of prey are taken in, cared for, and then utilized as educational ambassadors.

     The Oconaluftee Multipurpose Room is adjacent to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center on U.S. Highway 441, 2 miles north of Cherokee.  Info: Oconaluftee Visitor Center 497-1904.  Park information is also available from the park’s website at