We made a quick trip over to Maitland, Florida today to visit the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey.
We were lucky enough to be able to book a last minute educational group tour with Lynne Flannery. Though we arrived a little later than we originally planned, Lynne was ready for us and was very friendly and welcoming. Something you appreciate all the more after you spend a week on an RV fieldtripping across Florida with four children ages 5 to 10 months!
We learned quite a few new things today and reviewed a few of the things we already knew about birds of prey. One of the things we had a chance to see was the ear of a Barred Owl! We also had a chance to see how their feathers are different from birds who are diurnal. Since the Barred Owl is nocturnal it has excellent vision and can fly virtually undetected due to spacing in it’s feathers.
Did you know…
A Vulture (black or turkey) will open its wings and throw up when threatened! Because of the type of food it eats (road kill and decomposing carcass) this vile smell is said to ward off whatever is threatening it. I will think twice before approaching a vulture to photograph it. Notice there is no picture here?
A Bald Eagle gets it name, not because it looks bald—but from the old English term Bald that means white. Early visitors to America had never seen a white headed eagle before, thus the name. Bald Eagles build incredibly large nests. Three young children can easily fit in a nest with room to spare! It is one of the fastest growing birds. It grows to full size within just 10 short weeks!
The Great Horned Owl is the strongest bird of prey. It can squeeze 500lbs per square inch. Humans can squeeze about 20-30lbs per square inch!
The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird.
You can watch a video special on the center here to learn more about the important work they do.