NATURE SHOWS

We offer an array of Nature Shows

Learn about a variety of indigenous reptiles, mammals, and raptors in a fun and exciting way! 

The cost per person is only $7 and free for children 4 and under.

Shows begin at 10:30 a.m. Check in at the main lodge 20 minutes before the show to purchase tickets. No reservations required

2024 Show Schedule

  • Apr. 20th
  • May 18th & 25th
  • Jun. 1st, 15th, & 22nd
  • Jul. 6th, 13th & 27th
  • Aug. 10th & 24th
  • Sep. 7th, 21st, & 28th
  • Oct. 5th, 12th, & 26th
  • Nov. 2nd

*Show dates are subject to change. Call our office for most up-to-date information.

MEET ROBIN

Robin Pressley is an exotic animal trainer and an environmental educator.  She has trained marine, terrestrial, and avian species for animal management and educational presentations.  When training animals from sea lions and dolphins to rhinoceros and giraffe, she only uses positive reinforcement training.

Nature Show animal trainer Robin Pressley

Robin is a zoo and aquarium educator.  She has appeared on television and radio as an animal handler and environmental educator and has conducted Distance Learning programs nationwide.

Robin has authored and presented environmental education programs for one of the largest zoological outreach programs in the country.  She has also assisted in developing, piloting, and presenting education programs for the largest indoor aquarium in the world.

She has also instructed animal behavior research classes, and conducted and published her own research studies on animal and zoo visitor behavior.  Robin has presented her behavioral research at several universities and international conferences.

She was the recipient of the Year 2000 Young Alumni Award from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.  Robin was an international behavior consultant for Aubrey Daniel International, providing the "wow factor" for their Advanced Performance Management Training sessions worldwide.

During her free time Robin likes to travel and observe animals in their native habitats.  Two of her favorite adventures are hiking the NaPali coastline in Maui and diving Australia's Great Barrier Reef.  Robin is currently writing a series of character-building books for children based on animal adaptations and human diversity.  Her first book in her Busy Bodies Collection of children's books is currently available.

WHILE YOU'RE HERE, CHECK OUT OUR TRAILS

Every season at Banning Mills affords a beautiful nature experience on the historic and unique nature trails. Snake Creek Gorge presents a diverse and beautiful array of plants and wildlife.

We are not a park. All guests must register at the front desk before accessing any trail systems. The $7 per person fee to hike the trails is waived for Nature Show Guests!

All proceeds are donated back to the conservancy.

BIRDS OF PREY FACTS

Eurasian Eagle Owls

Czar is a Eurasian Eagle Owl. The Eurasian Eagle Owl is larger than most hawk species. Czar can grow to be as big as 22″ long and have a wingspan of 41″.

The Eurasian Eagle Owl is commonly found in North America, Europe & Russia. They are native to a Woodland habitat. They hunt small birds and mammals. They can attain sizes of 30 inches with a wind span of 6’2″. Their flight territory range is 1500 to 10,000 acres! They are very territorial and will attack bears or wolves if they come near its nest! When they find a mate, they are mates for life. In ancient times, the Eurasian Goshawk was considered a sacred bird and only allowed to be flown by nobility for falconry or hunts. Even with colder climates, these owl are very territorial do not migrate to warmer climates in winter. These owls can live up to 20 years in the wild and a distinct feature are their red orange eyes.

Birds of Prey Nature Show
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Barn Owl

The most widely distributed of the owl species, it is nocturnal and needs open spaces to hunt. Barn owls do not hoot but “screech”. Since many choose to nest in barns and old abandoned buildings, many an intruder has been scared silly by the eerie screech of these owls. Barn Owls mostly eat rodents and small mammals and can live up to 30 years old.

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Red Tail Hawks

One of the larger raptors in North, Central and South America, red tails can be recognized by their distinct shrill cry. Red tails will mate at 3 years old and will mate for life. They hunt in pairs and will fight over food even in the air. Red tail eggs are Green inside! They can’t move their eyes and so must move their heads in all directions to see.

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WHAT IS MANTLING?

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Mantling is hunching or arching shoulders and spreading wings over a recent kill to conceal it from other birds and predators who would be potential thieves. In this posture, the wings are mostly spread and drooped to the ground, exposing the bird’s upper back, also called the mantle, which gives the action its name. The head is usually bent down to feed, and the tail is often spread and drooped to provide additional cover and counterbalance.

Many birds of prey, including hawks and falcons, practice mantling after a kill. While they are feeding on the ground, particularly in open fields, rocky ground, or similar areas with less shelter or cover to provide natural concealment, they are more exposed. Their instinct is to cover their prey and keep it out of sight so it is not stolen by a larger, more powerful predator, whether that is another raptor or any other type of lurking hunter or scavenger. At the same time, the mantling bird will eat rapidly in order to decrease the time they are vulnerable, storing large bites of meat in their crop for later digestion when they feel more secure and are not at risk of losing the meal. If you come across a raptor, do not approach until it is finished. The bird may attack the one approaching or leave its food, which will be a waste.

Reservations are not required for Nature Shows. Please check in at the front desk 20 minutes prior to show start time for your map.
770-834-9149