The Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw, South Carolina offers amazing opportunities to see avian prowess up close and personal. Following are some pictures from a recent visit. (My apologies to the Center if I’ve misidentified any of these guys. Corrections can be sent to my email address — email@example.com.)
A handler provides a gloved perch for a Yellow-Billed Kite, a native of Africa that feeds on insects, worms and other invertebrates.
This Black Vulture prepares to land at what the staff calls the “Vulture Restaurant,” a clearing onto which road kill regularly is tossed for the birds’ dining pleasure.
A Turkey Vulture lands on a tree stump at the command of a Center handler.
Trained Hawks freely soar during Center demonstrations but can be tracked via an electronic sensor (you can see the thin antenna extending from the bird’s tail) just in case it decides to go out of sight. Fly-aways are rare, I was told.
This is a closer look at the location transmitter with which some of the Center’s birds are outfitted, such as this Turkey Vulture.
A Peregrine Falcon rests after a demo.
A transmitter-equppied Kite Hawk swoops low.
A performing Turkey Vulture walks back to a portable enclosure after completing its demonstration.
The non-profit Center is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, visit www.thecenterforbirdsofprey.org.