#getoutside: 21-year-old falcon to be honored Friday with birthday bash

Norton, a Peregrine and Gyr falcon, is turning 21!

#getoutside, a series focusing on our Wyoming outdoor lifestyle, is brought to you by Wind River Outdoor Company in Lander.

(Lander, Wyo.) - Wind River Raptors has one very special bird to celebrate this coming Friday, March 3. Norton, a Peregrine and Gyr falcon hybrid is turning 21 which is beyond the bird's average life span of 17 years. 

The birthday celebration will take place at the One Stop Liquor Store on Friday, March 3 from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. A portion of the profits from his party will go towards supporting Norton and other birds currently in rehabilitation at Wind River Raptors. Some of Norton's other feathered friends will also make an appearance at the Wind River Outdoor Company to help in the celebration. 

Artemis and Norton with Nate Barnes, founder of Wind River Raptors, after presenting to 400+ Arapahoe School students. 

About Norton 

Almost 21 years ago Norton joined the world. He was hatched in captivity and raised by humans. Norton is a Peregrine and Gyr falcon hybrid designed to be the best of both birds to make a master hunter. He was raised and cared many years by a falconer in Pinedale who took meticulous care of him. He kept Norton in his house as part of the family when he wasn't out hunting. His owner taught him to be an effective and efficient hunter of upland game birds. 

"Norton in his day was a bird equivalent of an MVP with his stats followed and published in multiple periodical magazines," said Nate Barnes, founder of Wind River Raptors, a non-profit 501-(c)3 organization for the rehabilitation, education, and conservancy of raptor species in Wyoming. Norton weighs about 1.8 pounds, and often took on game birds upwards of 5 pounds which is quite a feat for any hunter. One day while out hunting his owner tragically died of a heart attack. 

At that point, Norton made his way to Wind River Raptors where he enjoys a comfortable retirement. He also serves as one of their educational birds and an ambassador. He loves traveling and meeting people. Norton is very social and enjoys the stimulation of educational programs. Anyone who meets him is instantly captivated by his beauty and fun, quirky personality (watch Norton enjoying a bath below). 

The community is welcome to join the birthday bash on March 3 at the One Stop Liquor Store between 4-6pm. 10 percent of all sales will be donated to Wind River Raptors to help injured ill and orphaned birds. Donations will be also be accepted.