Gone to the birds

Today's volunteer shift at the Aquarium started off with one of the barn owls jumping on my head as I was cleaning out the exhibit. This was the first time one of the barn owls has come after me since they've been on exhibit, but not the first time they've gone after people. The male is quite protective and doesn't like it when people get too close to the nesting box, especially if the female is in there. Today I guess I got closer to the box than he wanted me to be. Fortunately no damage done to my head.

The rest of my shift finished without further incident.

Then it was off to The Center for Birds of Prey. It was a pretty cool afternoon for being outside, and the stiff breeze out at the Center made the temperature feel even cooler. By the end of the afternoon even I was ready to head in to some place warm.

This was my first trip out to the Center, and definitely won't be my last. It's a pretty cool facility to have around here, and lets you get up close and nearly personal to a lot of birds of prey that you probably wouldn't be able to otherwise. In addition to the birds on exhibit, they also treat and rehab injured birds in their medical facility. Our tour guide, Monty, said this past year they treated over 300 injured birds.

Savigny's eagle owl

Took 370 photos out there and ended up with 16 really good ones that I posted to the gallery. A few more may go there after I make a second pass through my photos. I had my camera on burst mode most of the time, so there were a lot of duplicates and triplicates of photos. Next time I head out there I think I'll bring my tripod.

While we were wandering around Owl Wood, one of the Center staff came out with this Lanner hawk and gave us a preview of the flight demonstration that we'd be seeing later on.

Lanner hawk

Grabbing the bait

There were flight demonstrations with 4 birds, which was pretty amazing to see.

Ural owl

This bird swooped down to grab a piece of meat sitting on his finger.
Grabbing some food

The Center for Birds of Prey is located a short drive outside Charleston on Highway 17N and is well worth the visit.