My friend Larry was already a ‘bird brain’ when he attended a talk given by the director of the Education Center at The Narrows. When he heard that the director thought that the birds should be among the people, and the people should be among the birds he was impressed. But when he heard that these birds provide rehabilitation for people who are suffering from trauma from many sources, as well as receiving rehabilitation themselves, and/or a permanent home if they aren’t deemed able to survive on their own, he was hooked and became a volunteer. A chance encounter with someone with a lot of knowledge of birds, and who was willing to share that knowledge, was what had sparked his interest in birds, and he is doing a great job of sharing the knowledge he has gained. The volunteers take care of the birds, clean the cages, and hand feed when needed, but also walk along the paths in the park, lovely shaded paths, with birds on their arm, and stop to talk with visitors about the animals. I wish I had known about this facility when I had visitors recently so that I could have recommended a visit to them. So I am recommending a visit to you if you are ever in the Tampa Bay area. You can check them out at Largonature.com.
This is Slayer. He, along with Slasher, are American Kestrals. They imprinted with people and that’s what prevents them from living in the wild.
Shay is a Red-tailed hawk who lost part of his wing and now is a resident at The Narrows.
When I say that this little Screech Owl is little I’m not kidding. Take the mental image you just got and divide by two. Larry had taken pictures of one once, he couldn’t see the bird but took the pictures based on what the people around him were saying, and was amazed when he looked at the pictures in the computer later. That’s when he saw the owl. I took this picture when he held this little guy up to demonstrate to me this ability to blend in, and then he did the same for some young girls who were walking along the path. But the tree he used then didn’t have the heavily textured bark that this tree had and I didn’t expect the same result. I was wrong, it blended just as well, and the girls were quite amazed.
If there was an aspect of photography that I would have said that I wasn’t interested in it would have been portraits. But when you are so close to these birds you almost don’t have a choice, but that’s not a complaint. When do you get to see them in such detail?
This Great Blue Heron is just a visitor, but since he posed so nicely I also took his picture.