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Sanctuaries

Raptor and Education Center

Raptor and Education Center

The Houston Audubon Raptor and Education Center (HAREC) at Sims Bayou is a picturesque 1.1-acre sanctuary located in historic Park Place on the original channel of Sims Bayou. The center is home to Houston Audubon’s education department, including our raptor ambassadors and other education animals. 

Come by to visit our raptors and other education animals in their beautiful home, while learning about these animals from our wonderful education team. 

The sanctuary contains raptor mews (or aviaries), a log cabin, a barn, a nature store, a gazebo, gardens, a pond with native plants, and seasonal wetland trails that afford a unique opportunity to experience nature in a dense urban setting. Many of our education programs are held at the Raptor and Education Center, including camps and field trips as well as programs for schools, scouts, adults, and other community outreach events.

Address: 3997 River Drive, Houston, TX 77017  Map and directions.

Phone: (713) 640-2407

Hours: The  Raptor and Education Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM - 4 PM, by appointment only. Please contact us by phone at (713) 640-2407 to make an appointment.

Pricing: Free for members; $5/person for non-members. Click here to become a member. 

All groups of 8+ must schedule a tour or class in advance. For more information, please contact Mary Anne Weber, Education Director, at maweber@houstonaudubon.org.

While we are currently open, please check this page before visiting for the latest updates in response to COVID-19. 

 

Programs

  • Get "enraptored"! Learn about our native raptors and raptor conservation, meet the raptors up close with lots of photo ops and discover what it takes to run a raptor center.

  • Awesome Avian Adventures for all grade levels K-12. Tours include activities and interactions with live birds. Fee is $200 for the 2 hour tour. Group size is limited. Please call for additional information or email maweber@houstonaudubon.org

  • Tours include up-close encounters with the raptors at the center, presentation in the Bayou Barn and guided hike to Sims Bayou. Picnicking area onsite or enjoy lunch at a nearby popular eatery. Fee is $10 per person. Harris County Senior Bus Trips Welcome!

  • Self-guided Tours

    All groups (defined as larger than 7 persons) who are not accompanied by a Houston Audubon guide must preregister by emailing Mary Anne Weber at maweber@houstonaudubon.org

Plus more! Check our calendar for all Houston Audubon programs and events.

Bird Sightings: Visit Texas eBird to find out what's being reported. The Raptor and Education Center is an eBird Hot Spot

 

Nature Store

Fly on over to the southeast side of town and check out our nature store! The store is chock-full of books for birders, gardeners, children, and nature enthusiasts. We also offer hummingbird feeders, bird houses, jewelry, plush animals, and gifts for all ages. 


HAREC is located next to Charlton Park and the Houston Botanic Garden. The property was originally established in 1997 as the Sims Bayou Urban Nature Center by the Greater Park Place Community Development Corporation to help revitalize the area. That group created educational and environmental programs, attracted hundreds of volunteers and provided a peaceful setting for scouting, birding, and other outdoor programs as well as boating and fishing opportunities. It was donated to Houston Audubon in 2005. On January 19, 2019, the ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to mark the official transformation of the Sims Bayou Urban Nature Center to the Houston Audubon Raptor and Education Center at Sims Bayou. All of Houston Audubon’s Education Raptors have settled into their newly constructed and furnished aviaries where they continue to receive exceptional care and lots of love from our amazing Education team led by Education and Center Director Mary Anne Weber. We would like to thank The Brown Foundation, the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, and the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation for their support.

  • Citgo
  • BP
  • Chevron Retiree Association
  • Land Sea & Sky
  • Shell Oil Company Foundation
  • Strabo Tours
  • Tropical Birding
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