ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Raptorfest: It’s a celebration of birds of prey at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve in St. Petersburg, happening Saturday, February 5.

Conservation groups, animal rescuers and even a falconer will be on hand for this major fundraiser for the preserve's Bird of Prey Program.

Preserve Ranger Amy DePalma says caring for these animals is a privilege and says it would not be successful without dedicated volunteers.

Volunteers help feed and care for their 20 birds every day. It's no small feat!

Donna Conway went to a Raptorfest in Rhode Island a while back and became hooked on helping these hook-beaked carnivores.  

“It’s such a pleasure working with these birds. You know, they can’t fend for themselves, and we’re here to fend for them,” said Conway.

Volunteer Mike Stott says helping these animals thrive actually helps him do the same.

“Semi-retired. Enjoy the opportunity to work with these great animals,” said Stott. “It came at a time I needed it.”

DePalma knows what they contribute. It’s where she started her journey to becoming preserve ranger.

“All these birds have stories just like us. We are here to tell those stories to hopefully help save their wild counterparts,” said DePalma.