Sep 12 2019

For The Birds

By Kara Bale for the Island Connection

Audrey Poplin Ray, left, an educator at the Center for Birds of Prey, and Laurie Bixler, with a Spectacled Owl at last year’s event. (Photo by Chris Smith of Chris & Cami Photography.)

Tickets will go on sale Sept. 16 for the Avian Conservation Center’s annual fundraising event, a dynamic experience featuring an engaging conservation-themed program with live birds of prey, distinctive auction items, a brunch with an open bar and an opportunity to win a private catered event for up to 40 of your best friends at the Center for Birds of Prey.

“Birds and Brunch at the Bennett” is scheduled for Oct. 27, beginning at noon, at the exclusive Hotel Bennett, located at 404 King St. in downtown Charleston. Funds raised at the event will support the Avian Conservation Center’s ongoing work with wild birds of prey and shorebirds, efforts that include environmental education, avian medicine, science and conservation initiatives.

With views of Marion Square and décor that includes hand-painted murals of iconic birds, downtown Charleston’s newest luxury hotel will offer a perfect backdrop for the event. “Birds & Brunch at the Bennett” will give guests an intimate encounter with the Center’s collection of birds of prey from around the world.

With the goal of raising funds to advance the future of avian conservation in the Lowcountry and beyond, the annual fundraising event will include an auction featuring unique items such as a private, full-day, nature excursion for 16 people, including food, adult beverages and a birds of prey experience with the experts at Coastal Expeditions. Other auction items include an 18-karat yellow gold necklace with multi-colored sapphires and diamonds from Croghan’s Jewel Box; a family-sized vacation stay at the rustic log cabins of Salmon Prairie Ranch in northwest Montana, just minutes from Glacier National Park; and a chefprepared dinner with special samplings of distilled spirits at the 16-acre Firefly Distillery, which is scheduled to open in February 2020. Uniquely designed to preserve habitat for local wildlife, the distillery will be located along the shores of Noisette Creek.

A raffle, at $40 per ticket, will provide an opportunity to claim the “Birds, Brews & Brunch” catered event at the Center for Birds of Prey for up to 40 people, with beer provided by Charles Towne Fermentory, Edmund’s Oast Brewing Company, Frothy Beard Brewing Company, Holy City Brewing, Revelry Brewing and Tradesman Brewing Company. Although the winner will be drawn at the end of the brunch, participants do not have to be present to win. Raffle tickets can be purchased online or at the event.

The Avian Conservation Center is a regional conservation organization with three primary operating divisions.

The Center for Birds of Prey presents conservation and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) education for more than 40,000 individuals and students each year.

An epicenter for professional medical services and research pertaining to wild birds of prey and shorebirds, the Avian Medical Clinic has treated more than 10,000 patients since 1991.

The South Carolina Oiled Bird Response Facility is always prepared to react to an oil spill in the region, offering ongoing oil spill response training and maintaining the readiness of treatment facilities and emergency response supplies.

Tickets for “Birds & Brunch at the Bennett” are $150 each. To put your name on a waiting list for reservations, contact the office staff at the Avian Conservation Center at 843-971-7474 or

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