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Raptor Free Flight!
The most extraordinary birds of prey exhibition in the United States!

Important Notice

Raptor Free Flight has been temporarily discontinued, along with the museum's other animal shows and interpretive talks. Please see our Reopening Information before your visit.

Why this presentation is so impressive …

  1. The birds fly so close you can feel the brush of feathers as they whiz by!
  2. The birds fly completely untethered, without any jesses (leg straps) and most often without bracelets.
  3. Presentations occur in the open desert, not in an amphitheater!
  4. It features the only raptor species in the world that hunt as a family using strategy, like wolves!
  5. Only birds native to the Sonoran Desert region are flown in the demonstrations.
  6. Different birds fly in each show (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) so each show is unique.

Watch as these amazing aerialists soar and swoop in their native desert habitat while a narrator describes their attributes, habitats and behaviors.

Gray Hawk landing

Bring your cameras and get ready for some supercharged action!

See our full Raptor Free Flight photo gallery here

See a selection of birds flying from the following species currently in the Museum's collection:

Chihuahuan Ravens • Great Horned Owl • Ferruginous Hawk • Caracara • Peregrine Falcon • Red-tailed Hawk • Barn Owl • Gray Hawk • Harris's Hawks

Note: There is never a guarantee that a certain species will fly during any given demonstration, due to weather, season, vet checks, etc.

In the wild, Harris's Hawks fly in family groups of three to seven birds. Watch as they ascend and hunt together! Family dynamics change throughout the season and you might just witness the female assert her dominance by ousting the smaller males off the tops of the saguaros!

Our Harris's Hawk Family
© Walt Thomas

Arizona is one of the only states where Harris's Hawks can be found in the wild.

The crowd watches as a Prairie Falcon flies over their heads
© Kenny Don

Fun Harris' Hawk fact: Although the Harris's Hawk is found in the southern half of Arizona, southwest New Mexico, southern Texas, and all through Mexico and South America, cooperative hunting is only observed in the Sonoran Desert region of their range
See more Fun Facts here!

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“This is about as close to a raptor as you're likely to get but before the show most people didn't believe how close...”
-Sam McManis, Sacramento Bee