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Are We There Yet – Raptors Rule at Mountsberg Conservation Area, Halton, Ontario

Got Raptor Fever? Not basketball, though that caused a stir. This is about birds, real ones.

Mountsberg Conservation Area in Campbellville, Ontario, about 90-minutes east of London is home to a Raptor Centre dedicated to teaching visitors about Ontario native birds of prey. All animals here are unable to live in the wild due to injury or imprinting.

Some, like a barn owl kept as a pet, were surrendered to the facility when the family discovered that wasn’t a good idea. Others, like Ayasha the Golden Eagle, were confiscated from an illegal situation. Cornelius the Bald Eagle flew into powerlines when young, damaging his wing. As a small zoo, the raptor’s centre allows close-up views of these amazing creatures – demonstrations run at noon and 2pm daily during the summer months.

It’s maybe not the biggest conservation area in the Halton region, but it is diverse. After admiring the birds, spend the day on the hiking and mountain bike trails through marshes, forest and sugar bush maples (the Maple Town festival is big in March), fish in the adjacent fish-filled reservoir, or frolic in the kids’ barn play zone leaping into hay piles.

Rural living is a theme at Mountsberg Conservation Area – educating about 19th century farm life is a goal. On-site farm animals include goats, sheep and a team of Percheron horses that pull wagons. Yes, wagon rides are available. If you’ve never seen bison close-up, you can here. A herd grazes contentedly in a paddock near the Discovery Centre. Admission is $7.75 for adults, $5.50 for kids (under 4 free). Open 10 am to 4 pm daily. www.conservationhalton.ca

Sherri Telenko is a freelance writer living in Southern Ontario. Check out her dog-friendly travels on www.dogtrotting.net.

Sherri Telenko is a freelance writer and blogger living in Southern Ontario. Sign up for travel ideas at www.dogtrotting.net or follow her on twitter @SherriTelenko.


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