You can see from these photographs this was a close encounter of the Red-tailed kind. A hawk we have photographed for around 5 years thanks to the Avian Center and their large rescue programs.
She was hit by a car, a common problem for large hawks. The center saved her. But like the hundreds of others here she can never return to the wild. This female lost an eye.
The center is about; rescued raptors, a large medical facility, a breeding program for endangered raptors, and not least a full staff of educators and willing raptors. They have been operating for 30 years.
There is over 150+ acres here making it one of the largest facilities of it’s kind. Size is important since a goal is to have these birds back flying. even if they cannot be released back into the wild, they may still fly so here they have that opportunity.
Many birds are fitted with special GPS tracking devices for their protection, and are exercised and fed in as close to their natural habits as possible.
This Hawk will fly to ‘catch’ chicken bits placed on stumps, logs, or other places she can easily find.
A few times during the year a small group of photographers are allowed access to the exercise and training. usually no more than 20 around the facility. The center can use our images, get the word spread, and of course raise much needed capital.
As photographers we get to shoot birds we may never find, or in actions difficult to see. Things are never as expected. A Hawk may land on your tripod. We have had a vulture poking through out back packs, even dive-bombed by an eagle Owl. In these shots a Red-tailed Hawk basically ran through us heading to a dead tree.
The other day we spent time with 15 different species, with luck caught a few good shots, and now I get to dig through 1,800 images!
The Avian Conservation Center / Birds Of Prey, Charleston, South Carolina.