Rapping with raptors & more: Getting up close at Cowan Lake State Park


Reptiles added to park program

By John Hamilton - [email protected]



Cowan Lake naturalists show visitors a demonstration of the eating habits of one of their snakes during the raptor and reptile feedings on Fridays.

Cowan Lake naturalists show visitors a demonstration of the eating habits of one of their snakes during the raptor and reptile feedings on Fridays.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Adena the red-tailed hawk has a snack as visitors watch during the Cowan Lake raptor and reptile feedings on Fridays.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Adena the red-tailed hawk has a snack as visitors watch during the Cowan Lake raptor and reptile feedings on Fridays.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Adena the red-tailed hawk.


John Hamilton | News Journal

WILMINGTON — Naturalist Mandy Wolski gives Cowan Lake State Park visitors a special lecture/show involving their animal friends, and she hopes to add more activities.

Every Friday at the Nature Center, Cowan Lake naturalists have been hosting raptor and reptile feedings. Visitors will get a good (and safe) look at the eating habits of their Nature Center residents.

“When you see an animal in the wild, your curiosity piques,” said Wolski. “You’re like, ‘I wonder what that box turtle feels like’ or ‘I wonder what it’s going to eat?’ So having the opportunity to come to see them here helps people get the experience, see (the animals) up close, what it eats and, hopefully, they can share what they’ve learned.”

She hopes this also stops people from wanting to touch or pick up animals they find on the side of the road.

“It’s definitely safer here,” she added.

The addition of snakes and other reptiles have added a spark to the park program.

“A lot of our visitors have already seen the raptors in our program. So, we wanted to add to it so that (the visitors) are likely to come back,” she said.

But the expansion doesn’t just include the reptiles. It also includes another naturalist — Maddie Spangler.

“The public side (of Cowan Lake) has always been kind of left out. I have to have the Nature Center open, but with Maddie being on staff, I was able to pack up the animals and go to the south side of the lake,” said Wolski.

On top of kids’ activities, Wolski hopes to do a program for adults as well, from forest meditation sessions to fly fishing instructing.

To find out what other activities Cowan Lake State Park has and to find out about the raptor/reptile feedings, call 937-382-1096 or visit the Cowan Lake Facebook page.

Cowan Lake naturalists show visitors a demonstration of the eating habits of one of their snakes during the raptor and reptile feedings on Fridays.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/07/web1_raptor3.jpgCowan Lake naturalists show visitors a demonstration of the eating habits of one of their snakes during the raptor and reptile feedings on Fridays. John Hamilton | News Journal

Adena the red-tailed hawk has a snack as visitors watch during the Cowan Lake raptor and reptile feedings on Fridays.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/07/web1_raptor4.jpgAdena the red-tailed hawk has a snack as visitors watch during the Cowan Lake raptor and reptile feedings on Fridays. John Hamilton | News Journal

Adena the red-tailed hawk has a snack as visitors watch during the Cowan Lake raptor and reptile feedings on Fridays.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/07/web1_raptor5.jpgAdena the red-tailed hawk has a snack as visitors watch during the Cowan Lake raptor and reptile feedings on Fridays. John Hamilton | News Journal

Adena the red-tailed hawk.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/07/web1_raptor1.jpgAdena the red-tailed hawk. John Hamilton | News Journal
Reptiles added to park program

By John Hamilton

[email protected]

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574