An injured and rehabilitated Barred Owl gives me the staredown as he wonders how the heck he flew all the way back to the Middle Ages.
I attended an evening to celebrate "A Place Called Hope," a local center specializing in the rescue and care of native raptors and corvids. It took place at the Nature Center at the state beach in town, under a glorious orange full moon. Children were encouraged to wear Halloween costumes as did the volunteers explaining the birds they brought and the work they do for them. There were five outdoor "stations" with four types of native owls, and a really cool "pet" crow named Crowe. There was a "bone" box for little kids to check out, and refreshments with a holiday theme. Each station had one person with a different owl, explaining a little about its species as well as the individual bird's plight. Most of the rehabilitated raptors are freed after they're well, but quite a few can never again live safely in the wild, and hence the need for a shelter for them.
This place does great work and is completely volunteer and depends on donations. Most of the birds present tonight had been struck by cars of all things, and were the ones that cannot be released due to their permanent injuries. That didn't stop them from mugging for the cameras, and generally being the cutest birds of prey I've ever seen up close. Two of the varieties, full grown, were no larger than your average Robin or Cardinal. I didn't realize that there were owls that small. They also had pre-recorded "songs" and calls of the owls, a nice touch.
For more information on "A Place Called Hope," click this link and then click on "residents" to see images of their owls, crows and ravens a bit more clearly than my night shot above.
I have to thank Mary for asking me to go with her, I just never seem to know what's going on beyond my yard and it was really a fascinating event.