Some of the fastest creatures on the planet impressed crowds at Glenlyon Dam on the weekend.
Around 140 people were able to get up close and personal to Jedda the nankeen kestral, Cleo the peregrine falcon, Mokey the boobook owl and Pickles the little falcon.
The event was the first in a series of Sunday nature studies events, What’s In Our Backyard At Glenlyon?, run by Glenlyon Upper Loddon Landcare Group and the Glenlyon Progress Association.
The Leigh Valley Hawk and Owl Sanctuary ran the event, teaching conservation through encounters with wildlife.
Handler Martin Scuffins said the birds are perfectly adapted to the environment in which they live, and it is the environment they share with us.
“It's up to us to protect their habitat. Species minus habitat equals extinction. We don’t own the environment, it belongs to these creatures as well,” he said.
Visitors learnt how falcons can achieve speeds of up to 237 an hour, and were informed about chemicals which almost led to their extinction. DDT impacted on their ability to produce calcium and left them with soft egg shells, threatening the survival of the species.
Children were fascinated to learn how the boobook owl can turn their heads almost 270 degrees and fly completely silent due to their soft feathers and how the Australian hobby can collect dragon flies mid flight.
Hepburn Wind, Bendigo Bank and Hepburn Shire provided funding for the Sunday nature studies event series.