BELLE FOURCHE – There was no hooting from the owls that accompanied two volunteers from Black Hills Raptor Center, but there were widened eyes from children and adults as the silent winged birds were carried through the crowd at the Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center in Belle Fourche Sunday afternoon.

Sunday’s fun day consisted of a movie about owls, a look at the real thing as three owls were shown to the crowded room, and then owl crafts followed by refreshments. Over 100 family members packed the museum.

BH Raptor Center volunteers, Maggie Engler and Judi Joba had two screech owls and a prairie owl on hand to give the families a close-up view of the small raptors. As the two volunteers passed through the crowd, the owls patiently took in the scene as phones flashed photos and youngsters delightedly enjoyed looking into their wise eyes.

Maggie Engler, who is the head of the Center, was a wealth of information as she told stories of the lives of each species. She explained why some things were really myths about the birds and what the truth was about habitats and habits.

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Black Hills Raptor Center provides 125-150 educational programs annually using live raptors, or birds of prey. The not-for-profit organization is an all-volunteer group, managed by a board of directors. The center is found in Rapid City, visit their website for more information – www.blackhillsraptorcenter.org.

The event was the kick-off for Family Fun Days scheduled monthly throughout the year at the museum in Belle Fourche. Events range from owls to archaeology and on to sharks and caves. Family Fun Days are listed on the museum’s website, http://www.thetristatemuseum.com.

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Managing editor

Chris Huber is the managing editor at the Rapid City Journal.