Mountain Wildlife Days

Mountain Wildlife Days is an event, held each year in mid-July, featuring unique opportunities for both children and adults to get up close and learn more about “wildlife and wild places”.

Scroll down on this page for schedule information, updates on  hiking, and a list of all the world class presenters! 
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The 2021 Mountain Wildlife Days will continue to put emphasis on a variety of “live” animal presentations along with providing unique opportunities to experience nature in a positive and meaningful way.

Held July 16 - 17, 2021 at

Sapphire Valley.

Below is the full 7 minute promo with great interviews and wildlife from the
8th annual Mountain Wildlife Days!

MOUNTAIN WILDLIFE DAYS

SCHEDULED PROGRAMS

The Balsam Mountain Trust will feature some of their “flying” raptors along with a variety of other birds of prey, including an American Eagle. On Friday afternoon, one of our very popular wildlife educators, Carlton Burke, will do a special free admission, “Owls-Masters of the Night” presentation for the Sapphire Valley campers, Boys and Girls Club and other area youth groups. (Image: Mountain Wildlife Days)

mountain wildlife days

GUIDED HIKES

A popular outdoor aspect on Friday morning involves hikes to scenic area locations, led by expert hike leaders. In addition, the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society, hopefully will provide another informative “Bird Walk” to learn more about our area birds. These activities are free, however, advance sign-up at the Sapphire Valley Community Center is required.

mountain wildlife days

SILENT AUCTION AND SPECIAL GUEST

Friday night includes the opening of MWD’s Silent Auction. A very special guest, comedian Geraldine Regan and her puppet, “Ricky” will entertain the audience on Friday night. Geraldine is a highly regarded performer and brings Ricky to life for the audience! Bill Lea, who has been a part of all 13 past MWD events, will be sharing some of his outstanding photographs and Caring for Creation comments during the second portion of Friday night’s program. (Image: Bill Lea)

GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL!

Several of the programs offer up close and personal visits with wildlife!

SPECIAL PROGRAMS… 

…INCLUDE RAPTORS, AN AMERICAN EAGLE, OWLS, REPTILES AND SNAKES, WOLVES AND MUCH MORE!

STAFF FOR 2021 MOUNTAIN WILDLIFE DAYS 

CARLTON BURKE—A naturalist and educator, he operates an educational service called “Carolina Mountain Naturalist” which specializes in presenting “live” animal and nature programs along with displays for a variety of organizations in Western North Carolina. 

MICHAEL SKINNER—An experience naturalist, he provides leadership for the Balsam Mountain Nature Preserve. His “live” raptors program includes an American eagle, hawks, owls, and others which provide an up close experience 

BILL LEA—A noted black bear expert, Lea is a world class nature photographer and wildlife advocate. He has been an important part of all 14 Mountain Wildlife Days. 

GERALDINE REGAN—Along with her puppet, “Ricky”, Geraldine is a wildlife advocate and has noted humorist for organizations throughout the county. 

ROB GUDGER—He is a wolf expert who provides a unique up close experience with his “live” wolves. He is a major favorite for both adults and children for many years at MWD. 

ZOO TO YOU—Their “Wildlife Wonders” program provide a variety of “live” animals for the audience. They have been featured on Animal Planet, local television and are nationally recognized as outstanding wildlife educators. 

THESE OUTSTANDING PRESENTERS ARE MADE POSSIBLE BY MWD SPONSORS AND THE SAPPHIRE VALLEY RESORT MANAGEMENT.


For more information, contact the Sapphire Valley Community Center; 828-743-7663 or 
email: blackbears66@gmail.com

For Wild Lives and Wild Places, Don’t Miss Mountain Wildlife Days

It’s one thing to see images of local wildlife in books, zoos, movies or TV, but a very different experience to see them in person. Of course, the best place to see wildlife is in their natural habitat, though a personal encounter with a bear or rattlesnake can be far from entertaining. A safer way to experience these “wild lives” and “wild places” is by taking in the 17th annual Mountain Wildlife Days, July 16th and 17th, at the Sapphire Valley Resort Community Center.

After a pandemic-induced sabbatical, it appears this popular program can resume this year. Plans are to open Friday morning, July 16th, with a bird walk led by “birders” from the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society. There are also two hikes to scenic locations and waterfalls led by experienced local hike leaders.

The Friday afternoon program for youth groups, campers, and children will feature Balsam Mountain Trust and their “Birds of Prey” program. From the tiny eastern screech owl to a bald eagle, this is an unforgettable opportunity to see these hunters of the sky up close and personal.

A Friday evening program at the Sapphire Valley Resort Community Center will begin with local favorite Bryan Heller on the piano, followed by another favorite Bill Lea with a special presentation, “Caring for Creation,” accompanied by his incredible photography. 
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The fun continues Saturday morning with “Snake Man” Steve O’Neil and his collection of native reptiles, amphibians and other animals. Next up is the ever-popular Rob Gudger and his wolves bringing attention to “our most misunderstood creatures”. The Saturday afternoon program will likely be the North Georgia “Zoo to You” with some unusual animals from the Australian Outback.

There is a $5.00 entry fee for adults for the Friday evening event and $8.00 for all day on Saturday. Children are admitted free.

Mountain Wildlife Days is directed by John Edwards and sponsored by the Sapphire Valley Resort, area merchants and friends of wildlife. All net proceeds are used to fund the Mountain Wildlife Days’ Western North Carolina Wildlife Outreach. This program provides wildlife and outdoor education throughout the year to schools and other organizations throughout Western North Carolina, in 2019 (pre-COVID) touching some 1400 people. For additional information, visit MWD.HIGHSOUTHADVENTURES.COM or call the Sapphire Resort Community Center at 828-743-7663.

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