On Saturday Arthur attended an event at a raptor / rehabilitation center back home in central Florida. While I continue my Illinois visit, Arthur was kind enough to write up what he saw there. Thanks for this, my first blog guest post, honey!
While my wife Amy was off to see the release by Flint Creek of the two Mooseheart Eagles at Starved Rock State Park in Illinois, I drove over to Apopka to check out the annual Owl Fest at the Avian Reconditioning Center. The ARC is open to the public every Saturday from 10am to 4pm (see our visit in September), but the annual Fall Owl Fest is its largest event.
I got there just after 10am and it wasn’t very crowded yet, but the parking lot quickly filled up. There was live music, activities for kids, green-living exhibits and product vendors, but what drew the most attention was, of course, the pavilion with live owls and birds of prey. ARC’s resident Education Ambassadors were on display on perches and gloves, showing off their beautiful feathers. Among the many birds were two Bald Eagles, a Barred Owl, Kestrel, Swallow-tailed Kite and two Barn Owls.
In September we got to see ARC co-founder Scott McCorkle fly a pair of Harris’s Hawks. At Saturday’s event he flew a Peregrine Falcon named Cora. The bird first flew around in circles over the excited crowd. Then the falconer took out a corded lure and swung it around and around for the bird to chase. It was very cool to see the falcon swoop by at lightning speed.
You can visit arc4raptors.org to learn more about the organization.