August 20, 2011 – We saw a variety of birds of prey at, not surprisingly, The Center for Birds of Prey near Charleston. Despite the heat we enjoyed the tour of the various birds, including about two dozen owls, bald eagles, and a crested caracara. We also learned that fish crows can learn to talk; workers at the center were trying to teach one to say “I’m a crow!” though it was being a little stubborn.
The flight demonstration was also very interesting as the birds enjoyed eating their post-flight treats, sometimes catching items in mid-air and eating while continuing to fly. The falcon had just received a bath and was dried with a hairdryer just prior to the demonstration; he was a little less than eager to fly, but eventually took off and zoomed all over the field.
We approve of the mission of the center, which is to rehabilitate injured birds, release them when possible, and acquire others for educational purposes (e.g. bringing into schools). The tours are informative, and the flight demonstrations really show the strengths and features of each bird.