It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s both, at open houses on Saturday (Oct. 19) at the California Raptor Center and University Airport.
• California Raptor Center — This open house starts with a Hawk Walk in the great outdoors; be at the center’s front gate at 8 a.m., and bring binoculars!
The “inside” open house runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with special presentations set for 10 a.m. and noon on raptor biology and ecology.
The center, a program of the School of Veterinary Medicine, provides care for injured raptors (eagles, hawks, vultures and owls), rehabilitating them and, whenever possible, releasing them back to the wild. Birds that cannot be released are trained to take part in the center’s education program.
During the open house, organizers said, visitors will have the opportunity to see many nonreleasable raptors that are housed in display cages. Some birds will be “on the glove” (perched on trainers’ hands) for people to see.
The center’s museum will be open, and T-shirts and other souvenirs will be for sale.
The open house is free; however, “we greatly appreciate tax-deductible donations that help provide care and feeding of resident raptors, underwrite education programs, provide medication and medical supplies for rehabilitation, and maintain our unique center,” officials said in an online announcement.
Directions: Take the UC Davis exit from Interstate 80 and turn south on Old Davis Road. Cross the railroad tracks and continue until just before the Putah Creek bridge. Turn left onto the paved levee road. Follow it for two-tenths of a mile and keep on the pavement as the road veers left, taking you down off the levee. Then make a quick right turn into the free parking area. Do not use GPS; it directs visitors to the wrong place. Map.
• University Airport — The only airport in the UC system is holding its 11th annual open house, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There will be airplanes, of course, plus helicopters, bikes and unique cars, as well as flight simulator rides run by aerospace engineering students. The students also will discuss their research.
Other demonstrations are planned in Steve Robinson’s hangar; he’s a retired NASA astronaut, now a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
Pilots and flight instructors will be on hand — happy to talk about flying. And Cal Aggie Flying Farmers will be taking sign-ups for free, introductory flight lessons.
Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available.
Directions: The airport is at 1 Airport Road off Hopkins Road, about two miles from the main campus. Take Hutchison Drive west from Highway 113; turn left on Hopkins Road and then take a sharp left onto Airport Road. Turn right into the parking lot. Map.