Irked Eagle – This is Frederick, one of the permanent residents. A staff member brought him out for us. In this photo, he’s yelling at a different staff member that walked by. Maybe he was expecting a handout?
Birds of Prey is a wonderful place but leaves me with mixed emotions. On the good side, there are many more Raptors now than there used to be. The estimated population of Bald Eagles in Florida has grown from 88 active nests in 1973 to 1,457 nests now. But on the sad side, there are also many more people and automobiles. This leads to increased encounters between people, their cars, and birds – and sadly, means that many more birds are getting injured today.
Wonderful places like Birds of Prey take in injured raptors, treat them, and (if they’re well enough) release them back into the wild. They’re able to release just over 40% of their raptor patients. But it’s sad that some birds are too injured to be released.
The injured birds are well cared for. Some are placed in zoos or other facilities that are knowledgable and able to provide for them. Others stay at Birds of Prey. They make exceptional ambassadors and help teach people about these awesome creatures. All three raptors pictured in this post are permanent residents at the center. It’s great that they’re such good photo subjects. But it’s sad that they’ll never make it back into the wild.
There’s another place like this in Apopka, Florida – The Avian Reconditioning Center. I haven’t been there yet, but I’m sure they’re just as dedicated to helping injured birds. And I’m sure there are places like this all over. You’ll be sad if you never visit one. In addition to the photo-op, your entrance fees help pay for care for the injured birds.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go visit a bird rehab facility. And make some photos too!
©2014, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.