The MK Nature Center near Kristin Armstrong Municipal Park is one of Boise's hidden gems. While the sturgeon pond and aquariums are perhaps the coolest part of the walk, you can visit with non-aquatic animals as well.
Last summer, a group of us from the station spent a lot of time at the MK Nature Center. It was part of a lunch time walk that we'd take every other afternoon. For as many times as we walked through there, I'm surprised that I never noticed the nature center's peregrine falcon before yesterday. Hubby and I went to check out the 15 sockeye salmon that were just added to the Alpine Lake aquarium. Somehow, I led us down a path I'd never walked down before and stumbled across the falcon enclosure.
That's when we got to meet Wilson for the first time. Wilson, the peregrine falcon, has actually called the MK Nature Center home since 2015. A sign outside her enclosure share part of her heartbreaking past that played a major role in her making her journey to Boise. Wilson was hit by a car and cannot fly anymore.
According to the the nature center's Summer 2015 newsletter, someone found her struggling on the side of the road near Idaho Falls and took her to the Teton Raptor Center in Wilson, Wyoming. While she was there, she went through several surgeries but the veterinarians couldn't help restore her ability to fly. The center would've loved to keep her but they already had six educational birds of prey and were unable to provide her a place to live. They asked Boise's MK Nature Center if they wanted her for educational purposes.
For a long time, the staff didn't really know if Wilson was a boy or a girl. It wasn't until this summer when Wilson laid eggs for the first time since living in Boise, that they were able to confirm with 100% certainty that she was a female falcon.
Today, Wilson hangs out in the aviary that was built especially for her and enjoys eating quail, chicks and mice. The MK Nature Center staff even treats her to a chicken drumstick on Fridays and takes her on a daily walk on the trail. Maybe you'll run into her during one of those walks when you go to visit.
While you're there, make sure you do stop by the sockeye salmon in the Alpine Lake aquarium! They were very cool and will be there until late September or October.