Tag Archives: Birds of Prey

Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation: Trip to The Center for Birds of Prey, Awendaw, South Carolina

29 Jan


Based on my children’s books, Humans In My House, you might think I’m only into cats. And while I am a crazy cat lady–I have five–I am also fascinated by and deeply concerned for wildlife. This is why Humans In My House and the Animals Beyond It (series book 3 coming Winter 2018) focuses on zoology and wildlife conservation.

As habitats dwindle and humans leave continually larger footprints on the lands they touch, wildlife around the world loses what they need to survive. Here, in South Carolina, we are fortunate to have many wildlife refuges, areas of land set aside for nature to run its course. With those refuges and conservation areas come teams of people who dedicate their careers to making sure these lands remain untouched and that the animals who live there are supported by the environment.

For those animals, on and off of refuges, who have run-ins with predators, humans both well-meaning and not, and dangerous environmental factors like (marine) debris and deforestation, we have organizations like The Center for Birds of Prey to research wildlife, doctor the sick, and educate the public.

I had the pleasure of visiting this weekend. We arrived just in time for the demonstration of various birds of prey, including the Eurasian Eagle Owl shown below.


Eurasian Eagle Owl, female, 3 years old, born in captivity and imprinted to her human handlers in order to reduce stress during handling and demonstrations.

We also witnessed the in-flight hunting practices of the Kite–who was very hard to get a picture of because he loved to fly and rarely landed–and a hybrid breed of Falcon (below) used exclusively in Falconry.


Hybrid breed of Falcon used in falconry. This bird spent the first part of his life hunting with his owner and came to the center when his owner took a job there. The hood he wears discourages what they called, “unauthorized flights,” during demonstrations and helps reduce stress. For a bird who hunts during flight at 200mph, mimicking nighttime darkness is the best way to dissuade him from those activities during a demo.

After the demonstration, we walked the property and visited the birds of prey living at the center. Some were born in captivity from breeding programs and parents who were rehabilitated there, and others are rescues in the process of healing for release or who are unable to return to the wild.

The owls, in particular, were fun to see because it is their breeding season, which meant they were very vocal and active even in the daytime. (Not to mention, owls are my favorite birds of prey.)


An owl whose name I’ve forgotten. But doesn’t he look so content?

Owl in owl, (sorry for the pun) I had a fantastic time at The Center for Birds of Prey and would recommend it to any animal-lover who is able to stop in. Check out their website for hours, admission, and special events like Photography Day and Owl Nights, or to participate in their citizen scientist program “Kite Sight” to aid in their research about South Carolina’s native Swallow-Tailed Kite population.

For more information on what you can do to help if you find an injured bird, here are some links from The Center for Birds of Prey and Audubon.

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