In 1982 wildlife rescue activity in Western Canada was almost non-existent. Centre founders Wendy Slaytor and Colin Weir approached the Province of Alberta Fish & Wildlife Division with an offer to start Alberta’s first volunteer wildlife rescue facility. It took the help of MLA Bob Bogle and then Fish & Wildlife Minister Don Sparrow granting special ministerial permission to start their volunteer wildlife rescue work since there was no provision for private individuals to possess wildlife.
From 1984 through 1990, at their own expense and with the help of many friends and volunteers, Wendy and Colin started rehabilitating what would grow to be thousands of injured birds from across Southern Alberta. They also began using injured and non-releaseable birds for public environmental education programs in schools and provincial and national parks.
In 1989 construction started on the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre at a new site that would be open to the public.
History 1991 to Present
The years 1991 through 2007 saw numerous small incremental improvements year by year. New buildings and aviaries rose from ground, wetland vegetation became established and small spindly trees soared to the sky.
In 1997 the centre completed its largest flight aviary, a 28,000 square foot circular enclosure for injured eagles. Made of steel this flight aviary is likely the largest of its kind in North America.
For Alberta’s centennial in 2005, the Foundation started work its first major building on site for visitors, a $600,000 interpretive facility. Funded partly through the Alberta Centennial Legacy Program this project was officially opened by Premier Ed Stelmach and MLA Barry McFarland in August 2007.