Carolina Raptor Center

Get ready for a nature experience to remember!

Carolina Raptor Center is dedicated to environmental stewardship and the conservation of birds of prey, through education, research, and the rehabilitation of injured and orphan raptors. 

Self-guided Tours

Meet 25 species of raptors as you walk the 3/4 mile Raptor Trail at Carolina Raptor Center. Catch a weekend live bird presentation, learn about these magnificent birds of prey or simply enjoy the setting inside Latta Nature Preserve.

  • Approximate Length of Experience: 1 hour
  • Min./Max. Number of Participants: None
  • Availability: Spring, Summer, Fall Mon-Sat 10 am - 5 pm, Sun noon-5 pm. Winter Wed-Sat 10 am - 5 pm, Sun. noon-5 pm.
  • Cost: For groups over 15 people - $6/each. Smaller groups pay regular admission $10 - Adults, $8 - Seniors, Teachers, Military, $6 students 5 and above, Free for children 4 and under. 

Private Live Bird Presentations

 Do you want something a little bit special for your group? Schedule a live bird presentation featuring 3-4 of Carolina Raptor Center's permanent residents on the glove. Learn about conservation issues, natural history and the native and exotic species who live here.

  • Approximate Length of Experience: 45 minutes plus time to walk the Raptor Trail.
  • Min./Max. Number of Participants: 15 minimum/No maximum.
  • Availability: Reservation required at least two weeks in advance. Subject to staff availability.
  • Cost: $10/each - $150 minimum.

First in Flight Tours with Carolinas Aviation Museum 

Fascinated with flight? Carolina Raptor Center and Carolinas Aviation Museum have teamed up to offer a day long tour that focuses on the physics and history of flight. Start the day at Carolina Raptor Center with a flight demonstration and self guided tour. They'll provide a box lunch from Jason's Deli to eat onsite at Latta Plantation or on the way to your second destination at Carolinas Aviation Museum. You'll see the history of flight in the Carolinas, featuring Flight 1549 "Miracle on the Hudson" Exhibition.

  • Approximate Length of Experience: 4 hours
  • Min./Max. Number of Participants: 15 minimum/100 maximum.
  • Availability: Reservation required at least two weeks in advance. Subject to staff availability.
  • Cost: $45/each, includes boxed lunch.

Behind the Scenes

Boasting one of the country's most extensive collections of birds of prey, go behind the scenes at Carolina Raptor Center's medical center and education trail. At the hospital, staff admits, treats and performs surgery and physical therapy on more than 1,000 birds a year. The goal is to get the majestic creatures healthy and released back into the wild.

  • Approximate Length of Experience: 1.15 hours
  • Min./Max. Number of Participants: Maximum of 12 (multiple tours can be accommodated)
  • Availability: Available first and third weekends of the month (2 p.m. on Saturday and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday) or by reservation.
  • Cost: $15 per person (includes admission)


Amateur and professional photographers alike will enjoy this professional photo shoot featuring Carolina Raptor Center's resident raptors. Featuring species such as owls, eagles and hawks, each outing highlights more than 20 different raptors. Begin with an early-bird breakfast, followed by six 30-minute sessions, where several birds will serve as models for the snapshots. The final hour of each day features the Center's flight show superstars in free flight.

  • Approximate Length of Experience: 4 hours
  • Min./Max. Number of Participants: 10 - 30
  • Availability: Reservation required at least four weeks in advance.
  • Cost: $90 per person for one-day session; $150 per person for two-day session

Marcy's Eagle Research Observatory Tour

Each January through April is known as nesting season at Carolina Raptor Center, where eagles Derek and Savannah tend to their eggs. The facility uses the opportunity to educate the public with tours of Marcy's Eagle Research Observatory. Participants will spend time learning about the eaglets from the past, present and future as well as study the eagles from Marcy's Observatory.

  • Approximate Length of Experience: 30 minutes
  • Min./Max. Number of Participants: 2 - 6
  • Availability: Weekends at 1:30 p.m. Jan. - April; weekdays with reservation.
  • Cost: $35 per person (includes admission to the Raptor Trail)

Raptor Keeper for a Day

Discover what it takes to feed, train and care for more than 100 resident birds representing 25 different species that reside at Carolina Raptor Center. Participants will work alongside Center staff for the experience of a lifetime to accomplish daily raptor keeper responsibilities such as feeding, enrichment, training and resident bird health exams. From vultures to owls to hawks, guests will see firsthand why these birds of prey are critical to the environment and the advancements being made to preserve them through Center staff.

  • Approximate Length of Experience: 2 hours
  • Min./Max. Number of Participants: 1 - 4
  • Availability: Reservation required two weeks in advance.
  • Cost: $275 for 1 - 2 people; $550 for 3 - 4 people

Contact Travis Dancy, VLN Director of Sales to book your next Lake Norman Experience!
(704) 987-3300

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