American Kestrels are the smallest falcons in North America and the only falcons which live year round in Florida. Katie and her three sisters were found on the ground after their nest tree had collapsed. Because they were fed and cared for by people at a very young age, they imprinted on humans and developed different behaviors than a wild kestrel would have. This makes it impossible for them to get along with their own kind. Since they don't have the natural instincts they need to survive in the wild, they must remain in captivity.
Katie is 16 years old, and has been with us since she was 5 weeks old. As an aging kestrel, she is facing some arthritis in her feet, but her attitude is still fierce and she is living the good life!
Mr. Frodo Eastern Screech Owl
This is Mr. Frodo, an Eastern Screech Owl who is 14 years old. Just before he was old enough to fly, he fell out of his nest and landed on his head. He was found in the middle of a concrete driveway and was almost run over! The injuries from the fall left him with permanent damage to his left eye and ear. Great camouflage, huh?
Since owls depend on their binocular vision and keen hearing to locate their prey, they need both eyes and ears in order to be a successful hunter. If released into the wild, Mr. Frodo would have a very hard time overcoming that handicap and probably wouldn't survive for very long.
So now, Mr. Frodo lives with Katie Kestrel in a very large flight cage, where they are very happy together, sharing perches and food. This would not be normal behavior in the wild, but these two have never known anything else and they have become very good friends!
Buffy Blue & Gold Macaw
Buffy is 9 years old. Macaws are smart and entertaining birds, very active and inquisitive. They are "all in", all of the time, wanting to be in the middle of all the action, wherever it is. They are very long lived birds and require a very large cage, lots of toys and foraging opportunities, and lots of time out of the cage, being able to interact with the family and their environment.
Buffy has a very large play area in front of a window, where she can exercise, and loves hanging upside down playing with toys, climbing up ropes and perches, flapping her wings and screaming. Yes. That's what birds do!
She is a happy bird, but that doesn't happen by accident. Macaws are intelligent birds, and can think at the level of a 3 year old child! Gina has spent lots of time encouraging her with training activities which stimulate her mind. She also gets regular time outdoors, with showers and sunlight, which are critical for their long term health and wellness.
In the wild, parrots spend their whole day flying with their life long mate, foraging and interacting with their flock. Life in captivity can be intolerable for these active birds if they spend their lives locked in a cage! Having parrots is not for everyone. If you think they are for you, do your research. Contact us. We will be happy to help you make the right decision.
MoHawk Red Tailed Hawk
et MoHawk, a Red Tailed Hawk. MoHawk was found on the ground below her nest, emaciated and weak, most likely rejected by her parents because her right eye did not develop. Her wild parents instinctively knew there was a problem and will stop caring for a chick that won't survive. She is currently in training to become our newest Ambassador bird and is now 3 years old! Red Tailed Hawks are very powerful birds, and are sometimes called Pole Hawks, because of their customary hunting style...sit and wait! They will eat anything they can catch, such as snakes, rabbits and squirrels.
Miko Barred Owl
Here is Miko, a Barred Owl, who was found as a nestling, only about 4 weeks old. She had two toes on her left foot that were very infected and had to be amputated to save her life. There is no explanation for how she was injured. Raptors catch all their food with their strong feet and sharp talons and having only one good foot would be a huge handicap for a young owl to overcome. She was raised in the clinic at Audubon Center for Birds of Prey and is a very gentle bird with a great personality. The Barred Owl is sometimes known as the "Who Cooks For You" owl because of their very unique call. Miko is now 9 years old and might live to be 30!
Ms. Gina Holt Educator
Gina was born and raised in Florida, and has always loved this beautiful and fragile State. A long time member of the National Audubon Society, she is involved in advocacy, having the opportunity to lobby in Washington, DC and at the local level, always outspoken against the over-development we are seeing everywhere in our state.
Gina has been involved in bird rescue and rehabilitation for over 15 years, and fell in love with raptors when she had the opportunity to visit Audubon's Center for Birds of Prey, a rehabilitation center in Maitland, Florida. She became a volunteer and worked for Audubon as clinic staff and as an Educator and Volunteer Coordinator with the Center. She has been trained to assist in all phases of rehabilitation, including working in the clinic with critically injured birds, and learning rehab and conditioning techniques prior to release. Gina has had the pleasure of releasing dozens of raptors back into the wild, including Bald Eagles. .
Here she is pictured with an osprey that was rescued by the Port Orange Fire Department, and the Animal Control Officer who found the bird hanging upside down and entangled in fishing line. After being untangled from over 20 feet of line, the osprey was released unharmed and the line was removed from the tree.