Members of Audubon of Martin County visited the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center to learn about raptors yesterday, out in the wilds of Palm City, Florida.
Bald Eagle and Red-tailed Hawk.
Injured birds and other animals are rehabilitated and released, when possible.
Crested Caracara is a “falconized vulture,” we learned, and a clever bird.
Pelicans had their own swimming pool.
Gracie the Bald Eagle has lived at the center for many years. She is missing part of a wing and will never fly. She fell or was pushed from her nest when she was barely a fledgling and a local rancher found her.
This falcon is probably a hybrid between a Peregrine and a Tundra Falcon and was probably being used for unofficial falconry when rescued from someone’s garage, according to center director Tim Brown.
This bird does not seem to mind being handled and seems tuned in to Tim.
Nice tattoo. I think he likes raptors.
The visit was a good chance to get close to some amazing birds, though a little sad too to see them tethered or caged instead of flying free and healthy.
“Most of the birds are here because they got a little too close to humans,” said Tim, “so we think it’s right for humans to try to help them.”
I didn’t expect to go birdwatching at the ArtsFest in downtown Stuart yesterday, but Treasure Coast Wildlife Center brought some rescued raptors to a pavilion in Memorial Park. And what birds to watch they were!
Here are some closeup “portraits” with my Canon SX60.
Barn Owl is (charmingly) nocturnal.
Great Horned Owl wins the staring contest.
This Peregrine Falcon is retired from falconry, I learned.
Red-shouldered Hawk is a forest hunter. They look a lot like Broad-winged Hawks and the Florida native version is lighter in color. I wonder if I am confusing my local hawks, since Broad-winged are rarer around here.
Crested Caracara is wicked cool. A new bird for me.
Red-tailed Hawk is fiercely beautiful.
Hello, Red-tailed Hawk who visited our back field and woods yesterday. I counted you in the GBBC and NH Audubon Backyard Winter Survey.
I noticed that the chickadees, our little sentinels of alarm, did not seem as upset about this hawk as they do about the Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned Hawks. I guess red-tails are less of a threat to them. They are looking for nice fat rabbits instead of featherweight chickadees.
Red-tailed Hawk, seen from Route 1A/ Ocean Boulevard, in Rye just south of Wallis Sands State Park.
An owl-like ability to look behind!
Red-tailed Hawk eats a duck in Hampton Marsh. I pulled over on the Route 1 causeway for this pic.
My hand was not very steady at this level of zoom. But it’s still a cool shot. And it helped me and my birdy Facebook friends ID this hawk as a red-tail.
Most Red-tailed Hawks are rich brown above and pale below, with a streaked belly and, on the wing underside, a dark bar between shoulder and wrist. The tail is usually pale below and cinnamon-red above, though in young birds it’s brown and banded.
The Red-tailed Hawk has a thrilling, raspy scream that sounds exactly like a raptor should sound. At least, that’s what Hollywood directors seem to think. Whenever a hawk or eagle appears onscreen, no matter what species, the shrill cry on the soundtrack is almost always a Red-tailed Hawk.
Red tail, adieu.