Birds of prey swoop in
NEW SALEM — See live birds of prey up close and meet the man who helped restore the American bald eagle to the northeast. The Swift River Valley Historical Society, at 40 Elm St. in North New Salem, is bringing Tom Ricardi and his birds to the museum grounds on Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. — rain or shine. The event, introducing audiences of all ages to these fascinating birds, is free for children, with a suggested donation of $5 for adults or per family.
Bring chairs or blankets. If it rains, the event will be held under the large porch of the Carriage Shed on the museum property.
Tom Ricardi has been rehabilitating injured birds of prey for over 30 years, as well as breeding them to bolster the wild population. In 1989 an eaglet was hatched at his Massachusetts Bird of Prey Rehabilitation Facility and placed in a wild eagle nest at Quabbin Reservoir. By five years later she was breeding and raising families of her own. There are over 400 species of birds of prey, ranging in size from tiny falconets and elf owls — standing only a few inches — to the condor with wing spans of 9 feet or more. They are armed with sharp talons, hooked beaks and keen eyesight.
The Swift River Valley Historical Society keeps alive the stories of the four “lost towns” of the Quabbin, and is open Sunday and Wednesday afternoons from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. until Sept. 29. The museum will also be open from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 28 for Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day, a day to celebrate the nation’s museums.
Admission to the museum is free this year in honor of the 75th anniversary of the dissolution of the towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott before the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir and the flooding of the Swift River Valley to provide safe drinking water for the Boston area. The museum recognizes the way of life and sacrifice made by the more than 2,500 residents of those towns whose homes were moved or destroyed. For more information about the museum and a schedule of upcoming events, visit www.swiftrivermuseum.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 978-544-6882.