Tag Archives: Center for Birds of Prey

Turkey Vulture, Flying Low

This is the same Turkey Vulture I’ve featured in recent posts as part of the the educational and flight demonstration program at the Center for Birds of Prey, this time showing off his flight skills.

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture Ready to Go!

Turkey Vultures are impressive with their flight skills, easily making sharp turns, using their wings to full advantage.

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture In Flight

It was very cool to see this one glide just above the ground, with seemingly little effort.

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture In Flight In Flight

The Center for Birds of Prey,  Awanda, SC
June 24, 2021

Previous Posts:

Turkey Vulture, Wings Out

Turkey Vulture, Up Close

Red-tailed Hawk, Living with One Eye, Part 2

The one-eyed Red-tail Hawk at the Center for Birds of Prey has adapted and despite my not getting any decent pictures, he flies with ease.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

At one point when he was on a post in front of us he turned away from the group, likely so he could face into the wind, which was steady with gusts that morning.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

But he was quick to turn back, the wind fluffing up his feathers was preferable to not seeing movement in front of him.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

The Center for Birds of Prey,  Awanda, SC
June 24, 2021

Turkey Vulture, Wings Out

Another un-releasable bird that is part of the educational and flight demonstration program at the Center for Birds of Prey is this Turkey Vulture. He was “rescued” when a passerby spotted him on the ground, the normal nesting spot for Turkey Vultures, and took him home. The bird subsequently imprinted on the human and now cannot live in the wild on his own.

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture

The Center for Birds of Prey,  Awanda, SC
June 24, 2021

Red-tailed Hawk, Living with One Eye

This Red-tailed Hawk is a part of the educational and flight demonstration program at the Center for Birds of Prey.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

Due to the program setup I was not on the side to see his fully lit body but got backlighting of his tail, which is quite pretty.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

A key take-away lesson from the center is Don’t Litter! This bird lost his right eye after being hit on a roadway, most likely trying to catch prey that somewhere down the food chain was after something discarded from a vehicle. The medical team was able to remove the eye and he recovered from his other injuries, however he cannot safely be released as he cannot reliably hunt to feed himself.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

The Center for Birds of Prey,  Awanda, SC
June 24, 2021

Burrowing Owl, Center For Birds of Prey, 2

Continued from Burrowing Owl, Center For Birds of Prey, 1

New to the educational  program at the Center for Birds of Prey since the last time I was there was a Burrowing Owl.

The little Burrowing Owl (about 5 ounces, 150gm)  is quite striking.

Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl

Scanning the sky for safety, the Burrowing Owl was aware of any movement overhead.

Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl, Scanning the Sky

The presenters are also on the lookout for hawks and other predators which have been known to drop in on their programs. On this day we only saw Black Vultures and Anhinga passing by.

Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl, Radio Transmitter Wire Showing

Without any apparent preparation, the owl dropped into flight.

Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl, Radio Transmitter Wire Showing

The Center for Birds of Prey,  Awanda, SC
June 24, 2021

Burrowing Owl, Center For Birds of Prey, 1

New to the educational  program at the Center for Birds of Prey since the last time I was there was a Burrowing Owl.

A small fake burrow has been set up at the flight demo area where this female zipped through the tunnels a few times.

Burrowing Owl Demonstration Mound
Burrowing Owl Demonstration Mound

At about 5 ounces (150g) these owls are small and fast, both in the air and running.

Burrowing Owl, Running
Burrowing Owl, Running

Like all of the demonstration birds in this program, the owl was sporting a radio transmitter in case of “unauthorized absence.”

Burrowing Owl, Perched
Burrowing Owl, Perched

She is also trained to perch on the handler’s glove, where you can see the relative size of this little owl.

Burrowing Owl, On Handler's Glove
Burrowing Owl, On Handler’s Glove

The Center for Birds of Prey,  Awanda, SC
June 24, 2021

Yellow-billed Kite: On the Ground

As part of the Yellow-billed Kite flying demonstration the handler tosses pieces of raw meat into the air to simulate a bug and the Kite catches them on the fly. I didn’t get a decent picture of that action, but in the sequence below the bird missed and immediately dropped to the ground to find the food.

Yellow-billed Kite:
Yellow-billed Kite – click image zoom in and you’ll see the meat in the bird’s mouth

The demonstration field was covered in little yellow flowers, a pretty background for this brown bird.

Yellow-billed Kite:
Yellow-billed Kite

He sauntered around a bit for taking to the sky again.

Yellow-billed Kite:
Yellow-billed Kite

Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus aegyptius

Ted, TPJ Photo, captured some nice images of the mid-air feeding  and the Kite taking food from the handler on the fly.

The Center for Birds of Prey offers photographers an opportunity to take close-up photographs of owls and other birds of prey a few times a year.

The Center for Birds of Prey, Photography Day, April 22, 2018,  Awanda, SC.

Yellow-billed Kite: In the Air

After his posing session at the Center for Birds of Prey Photography Day this Yellow-billed Kite had an opportunity to fly.

Yellow-billed Kite Flying
Yellow-billed Kite Flying with radio transmitter attached

Kites catch thier prey, mostly insects, by snatching from the air with their feet. This requires a lot of swooping and circling to get higher off the ground.

Yellow-billed Kite Flying
Yellow-billed Kite Flying

The Center’s birds are fed and according to the handler will not seek out food during flying demonstrations, returning to the handler for the reward of food. This particular Kite seemed to enjoy his time in the air, circling around the demonstration field over the row of photographers several times.

Yellow-billed Kite Flying
Yellow-billed Kite Flying

Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus aegyptius

The Center for Birds of Prey offers photographers an opportunity to take close-up photographs of owls and other birds of prey a few times a year.

The Center for Birds of Prey, Photography Day, April 22, 2018,  Awanda, SC.