Just before Christmas there was an article in the newspaper about the Raptor Trust. The Raptor Trust is a rehabilitation hospital for raptors and an educational center for humans to learn more about them. During the week before Christmas there had been a break-in on one of the outdoor cages and a little owl was stolen. Like some of the other residents, this owl was permanently disabled and needed constant attention so a plea was made in the paper for the culprit(s) to return the owl - no questions asked - in order to spare his life. Thankfully, it worked and he was returned to the Trust.
It was very sad thinking that someone who probably wanted the owl for themself or perhaps wanted to give it to someone as a gift for Christmas might be actually responsible for the bird dying. We were so glad to see that the issue had been resolved. We have visited the Raptor Trust before, many years ago, and in fact, when Christopher was a Cub Scout, we had arranged for them to come to a Pack Meeting and make a presentation. At that time Christopher had his picture taken with the owl that they brought and it was in the local paper. (I think I'll have to locate that picture!)
We pass by the Raptor Trust when we get our annuals from the Great Swamp Nursery in the spring and have meant to go back and look around, but with the recent newspaper article and the fact that our local raptors are keeping all the songbirds from our feeders we thought it might be a good trip during the holiday break, so we bundled up today and headed up there.
The outdoor buildings are solid on two or three sides and the other sides and top are enclosed with chain-link fencing with a layer of some sort of nylon netting on the inside, presumably to keep smaller birds and animals out of there. It was more than a little difficult getting good pictures through that netting, so if they look blurry or hazy at all you'll know why. I've tried to pick out some of the better ones.
I should have noted the names of the birds as I was taking the pictures because I'm not remembering all the different species just by the pictures but I didn't think that there would be so many or that I would be taking 100 pictures today. Here you see several hawks, a great-horned owl, a snowy owl, and a peregrine falcon.
I'll have more to share at a later date, but in the meantime, those of you that live locally, if you're looking for a little diversion on the weekends coming up, check it out. They ask for a minimal $2.00 donation to go in and look around which is worth the trip there, though you are free to donate more should you wish.