One is not likely to see live animals at a traditional museum. However, such is not the case at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, where the Greater Yellowstone Raptor Experience brings visitors face to face with four of the area’s most recognizable birds—including Suli, the turkey vulture.

The “avian ambassadors” even have Facebook pages and will soon have t-shirts available with their likenesses. But, it’s their “personal appearances”—whether at the Center’s Draper Museum of Natural History or at the local middle school—that have people talking.

The raptors are kept in a mews, built to accommodate five birds the state of Wyoming would allow for educational programs. (The Center hopes to acquire a golden eagle or other species to round out the avian aggregate.) Once completed, the program and the construction had to be approved by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service before birds could even be considered for “residence.”

Committed to connecting people with the Spirit of the American West, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center weaves the varied threads of the western experience—history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms technology and the nature of Yellowstone—into the rich panorama that is the American West.

The Center, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is now open daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Starting May 1, the Center moves to its summer hours of 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily. For general information, visit the Center's Web site at www.bbhc.org, or call 307.587.4771.