Welcome to Atwood Center
Birds of Prey
Illinois Park & Recreation Association Outstanding Facility & Park Award Winner
The exhibit and Atwood Park are open every day from 8:30 am to 10 pm. On Saturdays, Atwood Center is open from 10 am to 2 pm, with staff feeding the birds at 1 pm. Visitor are welcome to observe and ask questions.
Atwood Center has been home to Birds of Prey since 1988. The birds are a critical component of the Rockford Park District’s Environmental Recreation and Education program. The birds in the exhibit are a great horned owl, a turkey vulture, a kestrel, a red-tailed hawk, a barred owl, and an American eagle. All are unable to survive in the wild due to previous injuries or impairments, and are used as aids in the Rockford Park District’s strong environmental message to preserve and enhance natural habitat.
The FREE accessible Birds of Prey exhibit is very special and unique to the Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin area. This brand new exhibit features up-close views of raptors and one of the few accessible tree houses in Illinois. Families can stay overnight and literally bunk with the birds and sleep under the stars. The combination of these features makes the Birds of Prey exhibit at Atwood Center one-of-a-kind.
Quick Facts About Exhibit:
- The exhibit is FREE for all to visit. Don't forget a camera!
- All of the birds were rehabilitated elsewhere and deemed “un-releasable” which means they would not be able to survive in the wild.
- 30,000 people have seen a Bird of Prey program over the past 20 years.
The Birds of Prey:
- Also referred to as raptors
- Hunt, kill and eat other animals and insects
- Common groups in this area are eagles, hawks, owls and falcons
- Beneficial to the environment, providing control of rodents and other species known as pests
- Natives to the United States are protected by both federal and state laws
- No one is allowed to possess a raptor as a pet
- Indoor housing for all birds
- Accessible path entrance with welcome signage
- Enhanced education signage
- On-site workroom that allows access to all enclosures
- Accessible tree house - (Guests have a bird's eye view of nature in action at Atwood Park. The tree house is elevated 10' to 20' above ground, and children and adults with mobility issues have access to the amazing views, possibly for the first time in their lives. Families can participate in Bunking with Birds, an opportunity to stay in the tree house overnight while taking part in traditional camp activities and camp meals.)
In addition to public viewing of our birds at Atwood Park, the Birds of Prey staff are available to bring birds to your site for a program (there is a fee for educational presentation). If interested, call 815-874-7576 (TTY, 888-871-6171).