A handler talks to a group of kids while a raptor perches on his outstretched arm.

Photo Credit: MARS

Hang Out With Raptors in the Comox Valley

Funky date, family outing, or just need a dopamine boost? Here's the spot

Get a real “bird’s-eye view”

If you live in the Comox Valley, you can take an all inclusive trip to Mars!!

MARS Wildlife Centre, that is. Or the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society.

No rockets needed, this centre is just outside of Courtney—and it’s a lot more interesting than some dusty red rock.

It’s a wildlife rehabilitation centre and they help heal everything. Owls, eagles, baby deer, raccoons, reptiles, blue herons, the list goes on.

Once they’re rehabilitated, most of them go back to the wild where they came from.

But the permanent residents, or animals that are healthy but haven’t quite gone home yet, are once again open to the public to see and learn about.

Now that Avian flu is no longer a concern, they have re-opened their tours to include visits to the eagle recovery flight pen.

You can watch these beautiful raptors stretch their wings as they prepare for release back into the wild.

As part of the tour, you’ll also be able to meet a resident “ambassador bird” with a handler up close and personal.

Plus, take a stroll through native plant gardens and see their awesome indoor exhibits featuring raptors, waterfowl, and other native wildlife and artifacts.

For young enthusiasts, they also give a “Birder for the Day” activity. Check your grip strength, and get flashlights and magnifying glasses to take a closer look!

Besides all this, you hear rescue stories and learn more about the beautiful west coast wildlife all around us.

They’re open to visits from the public Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is by donation (suggested $5 per person).

Book your spot here to see one of the region’s coolest organizations in action.