Category Archives: Birds of Prey Center

Very good, but a bit sad – revisiting The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey

I hadn’t been by the  Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida in a long time.  So when Tom M. mentioned he wanted to go, I was happy to meet him and Keith H. there one morning last week.

Irked Eagle
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.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

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.

Great Horned Owl
This Great Horned Owl looks a bit sleepy.  It must be a night owl.

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.

Maitland, Florida

Intro / Description

Maitland is a particularly photogenic city in the greater Orlando metro area.  I’ve found several locations there with good photo ops – my most recent visit was to the Maitland Art Center with Keith H.

Way out
Way out: A gate in the wall at the Maitland Art Center (Infrared, Black and White)

The Maitland Art Center used to be known as The Research Studio and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  It’s one of the few examples in our area of Mayan Revival architecture, which can make for some intriguing  details to photograph.  The grounds are a popular place for weddings.  You may run into one on weekends that will keep you out of one or more of the venues.

Mayan Revival carved door
Mayan Revival carved door – I wonder if this is where Indiana Jones keeps his stuff?

Other museums in this location in addition to the Art Center are: the Telephone Museum; the William H. Waterhouse House Museum; and the Carpentry Shop Museum.  If you’re visiting, check the websites linked here – the hours and fees vary.

Info for Photographers

Photo hints:

My approach was to wander and photograph whatever caught my eye.  I found the Art and History Museum  productive for IR / B&W photography.

Tripod/Monopod:  Allowed and helpful.

Lenses:  You’ll probably use wide and normal lenses the most.  I didn’t feel any need for a telephoto lens.  A polarizing filter might be helpful to block reflections in glass.

They're all in the garden at the party
They’re all in the garden at the party

Best time to visit:  Year round, early or late in the day for the best light.  Avoid weekends if possible so you don’t run into any weddings.

Other:

There are some other photo ops close by.  I’ve written before about the Audubon Birds of Prey center – a great place to get close portraits of some very impressive birds.

Recovering eagle, Audubon Birds of Prey center, Maitland, Fl
Recovering eagle, Audubon Birds of Prey center

And the park at Lake Lilly is also photogenic.  Try some sunrise or sunset photos there, or walk through the farmers market on Saturdays for some local interest / people photos.  Be careful the ducks don’t peck on your lens!

Wide angle, backlit, ducklings
Wide angle, backlit, ducklings at Lake Lilly – looking for a handout

And the Fort Maitland boat ramp at 900 South Orlando Ave. would be a great place to launch your kayak!

Summary

My Gallery /  Flickr photo set:  Maitland on Flickr
Website:  http://artandhistory.org
Address / Phone: 231 West Packwood Avenue, Maitland, Florida
Central Florida Photo Ops Rating:  A great place to explore; Lots of photo ops

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.  Now – go make some photos!

©2014, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Audubon Birds of Prey Center

Description

The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey is located at 1101 Audubon Way  – just off of highway 17 / 92 in Maitland, Florida.  They treat injured or orphaned birds of prey (raptors), and release a great many of their former patients back into the wild. The Center also provides environmental education to local students, teachers, and visitors. Many birds that are too injured to be released are given permanent homes at the center.

The educational displays and permanent residents present an outstanding opportunity for the photo enthusiast.  A visit here will take an hour or two depending on how thorough you are.  Below is a photograph of one of the permanent eagle residents at the Center, which I made during a visit in 2007:

eagle

Photo hints

Lenses :  Bring a long zoom lens.  My 70 – 300 mm  on my 1.5 crop body D90 DSLR, gave me frame filling head shots of the bald eagles in the court-yard just inside the main entrance.  On the smaller birds (hawks and owls) in this courtyard, you can still get frame filling body shots. Below is a photo of a hawk: hawk

You should also bring a macro lens or attachment if you have one, since there are some very pretty flowers on the grounds of the center. flower

Tripod / Monopod :  I believe that tripods are allowed, although I didn’t use mine and didn’t ask.  There aren’t usually any big crowds here and there’s no narrow passages where a tripod would cause a problem.  I did bring my monopod and it came in handy, although you can probably get by with an ISO boost or by strategic use of gates and other structures to prop your camera on.

Other :  A flash would be handy for photos on the porch where there are smaller birds (kestrels, falcons, and small owls).  I didn’t have mine with me and opted to raise the ISO on my D90 to 1600, which worked pretty well.  Below is a kestrel photo, made on the porch. kestrel

Note that one of the attendants told me that photography “is permitted here as long as you don’t sell the photos.”  If you do plan on a commercial use, please talk to someone at the Center about it.

Summary

The Audubon Birds of Prey Center is a wonderful place to spend an hour or two with a camera.  You can learn a bit about raptors and your $5 entrance fee supports the center’s work.  You can also make some very nice photos of Birds of Prey.

My Gallery (22 total photos): http://edrosack.com/090524_Birds-of-Prey/
Website: http://fl.audubon.org/who_centers_CBOP.html
Address: 1101 Audubon Way Maitland, FL 32751 (407) 644-0190
Central Florida Photo Ops Rating: Hidden Gem!

©2009, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.