By Dawn Davis for The Island Eye News
The National Park Service is partnering with the Center for Birds of Prey-Avian Conservation Center, and the Lowcountry Stargazers to offer two special programs during National Park Week. First on Saturday, April 20, at 12:30 p.m., the Birds of Prey will bring live birds to Liberty Square, located at 340 Concord St. in Charleston for a program on the lives of birds, their valuable role in the web of life, as well as national and international conservation efforts.
Second on Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m. at Fort Moultrie, located at 1214 Middle St. on Sullivan’s Island, the Lowcountry Stargazers will share the wonders and visions of the night sky. Both programs are free for the public.
Birds of prey have long-captured the fascination of humans because of their keen eyesight, agility of flight, and impressive strength. These birds, sometimes referred to as raptors, include hawks, owls, osprey, and vultures. They can be seen and heard throughout the Lowcountry.
From the earliest days of recorded history, people have been fascinated with the variety of celestial bodies and sometimes frightening phenomena that a night sky can present. President Abraham Lincoln was a selfeducated amateur astronomer. By chance he witnessed one of most significant astronomical events of the nineteenth century: the Leonid meteor storm of November 13, 1833. Years later, during the Civil War, when the fate of Union was in question, he related this story:
“That particular evening, some believed that the biblical Day of Judgement had come. From my window I saw the stars falling in great showers; but looking back of them I saw the grand old constellations, with which I was so well acquainted, fixed and true in their places. The world did not come to an end then, nor will the Union now.”