News from the Center


Jim Elliott is awarded the Order of the Palmetto

On Saturday, October 15 during the 25th anniversary celebration, Wild at Wingswood, the Founder and Executive Director of the Center, Jim Elliott, was awarded the Order of the Palmetto by Senator Chip Campsen.

Governor Nikki Haley selected Mr. Elliott to receive the state’s highest civilian honor for his extraordinary lifetime service and contributions to avian conservation through rehabilitation of birds of prey, research initiatives and environmental educational outreach.

Although Elliott began his professional life as a commercial real estate broker, his passion for birds and wildlife took him on a different path. As a life-long student of birds, Elliott became aware of the critical need for professional medical care for injured birds of prey in South Carolina. These apex predators serve as an indicator of the overall health of the ecosystem and by extension, human health. In 1991, Elliott launched the Charleston Raptor Center, which eventually evolved into the Avian Conservation Center as the need for education outreach was established.

The impact of Elliott’s vision cannot be understated. The Avian Conservation Center/Center for Birds of Prey has become a distinctive environmental education asset to South Carolina and the region, providing conservation and STEM education for more than 40,000 individuals and students each year. With the establishment of the Avian Conservation Center/Center for Birds of Prey, Elliott created a path for the widespread dissemination of critical conservation messaging. As the premier avian medical facility in the state, the Avian Conservation Center’s Medical Clinic at the Center for Birds of Prey has treated more than 7,000 wild birds of prey and shore birds since opening in 1991 and also operates the only permanent oiled bird response facility of its kind on the eastern seaboard.

Photography Day

Sunday, November 20th, 2016 – 8:30am to 11:30am


During this 3-hour experience, you will have the unique opportunity to:

  • Take close-up photos of live birds-of-prey in natural settings
  • Take a self-guided tour of the Center
  • Photograph/video record flight demonstrations featuring several species of birds-of-prey in free flight

Member Rate: $36 per photographer, $12 per adult observer, $8 per youth observer
Non-Member Rate: $45 per photographer, $15 per adult observer, $10 per youth observer

Space is limited to 25 photographers in order to provide optimal opportunities for all to get the shots they want.

Attend Photography Day

Owls in the MoonlightAsian Brown Wood Owl

Thursday, November 17th, 2016 – 6:30pm to 9:30pm – SOLD OUT

Thursday, December 15th, 2016 – 6:30pm to 9:30pm

Spend a magical evening in the nocturnal world of owls. Your evening includes the following:

  • Enjoy a reception in the Countess Alicia Paolozzi Owl Wood
  • Watch the owls fly by the light of the full moon
  • Food, wine, beer, and soft drinks will be served

Member Rate: $40
Non-Member Rate: $50


Attend Owls in the Moonlight
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The Center for Birds of Prey