Audubon Florida News

Topic: Birds of Prey Ctr.,Events

Upcoming Events: Audubon Center for Birds of Prey

posted on September 24, 2012 in Birds of Prey Ctr.,Events

September 25, 2012 – 6:45 – 8:45 PM. Kissimmee Utility Authority, 1701 W Carroll St. Kissimmee, FL 34741 hosted by Kissimmee Valley Audubon Society.

Audubon EagleWatch uses citizen scientist volunteers to collect information about Bald Eagles, active nest locations and potential disturbances or threats to nesting activities.  Volunteers are needed for the upcoming eagle season (season begins October 1).  Join Matt Smith for an EagleWatch training workshop. Both current and new EagleWatch Citizen Scientists are welcome to attend. Topics  include the status of the Bald Eagle in Florida, general eagle biology, eagle nesting behavior and habits, Bald Eagle management guidelines, and nest observation techniques and strategies.

RSVP to or call 407-644-0190 for more information.


Volunteer Event: Wekiva River Clean up

September 29, 2012 -2PM-5PM, Wekiva Island (1014 Miami Springs Drive, Longwood, FL 32779).

Join us to celebrate National Public Lands Day by cleaning up the Wekiva River.  Volunteers will remove harmful debris via kayak and on foot.  Children under 12 need to be accompanied by an adult for kayak.  This event is free; for more information and to register email:  Stay late to visit with our Ambassador raptors at the new Audubon River Bana!  Funded by Toyota, TogetherGreen Volunteer Days events connect people with opportunities to make a difference for the environment within your community.  Follow us on twitter to stay up to date on activities and programs: @audubonCBOP


Save the Date: October 20, 2012 10AM-2PM

Owl-o-Ween – Superstitions and folklore stories link owls and Halloween. Come celebrate Halloween with our owls and learn about these amazing birds of prey. Come H-owl with us. This program is made possible by the generosity of Progress Energy

Big Fun at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey Back to School Bird Bash

posted on August 23, 2012 in Birds of Prey Ctr.,Events

The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey kicked off the school year in style with a Back to School Bird Bash held Saturday August 18.  This event, sponsored by Progress Energy, hosted more than 90 individuals including students and families for a morning of fun educational activities incorporating different conservation themes.

Check out some of our fantastic activities:

Migration station: Visitors learned about migration patterns of birds, flyways that different species use and the thousands of miles birds travel to reach their breeding grounds.  Participants migrated from 5 counties including some as far as Broward and Duval counties.

The Backyard Habitat station introduced participants of the importance of creating a wildlife friendly yard and community for birds and other wildlife.  Individuals learned about simple ways to make their backyard a haven for wildlife and received sample bird seed packs from Wild Birds Unlimited (thank you Wild Birds!).

The W.E.B and Conservation Station taught individuals about how Water, Energy and Birds are all connected.  Participants learned about steps they can take to conserve water and energy and how it will benefit birds and other wildlife.  Guests could then write what conservation meant to them on our conservation chalk wall.  Individuals received take home tool kits with ideas for saving energy at home and re-usable water bottle as a reminder to reduce waste, recycle and conserve water.

At the Feed Me Station guests got to play a game of bean bag toss with our owl themed boards while learning about the diets of owls and other birds of prey.  Feather me this, Feather me that taught individuals the unique function of feathers, many took home their own feather fan.

The Bird Olympics Station allowed participants compete with the best bird athletes in the world.  Events included wing flapping, wing span measurements and how far away a human can smell a stinky fish.  A challenge for some, however, not if you are a Turkey Vulture.

Our bird ambassadors were out and about at our bird meet and greet area on the gazebo.

Guests were able to get up close with birds such as the Bald Eagle, Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl and American Kestrel and learn about how water bodies and wetlands are important to raptors. Families had a blast learning about ways they can help birds and the environment. The event was complimentary to guests thanks to the generosity of Progress Energy.

Bald Eagles Make Impressive Recovery in Florida

posted on July 5, 2012 in Birds of Prey Ctr.,Wildlife

Bald Eagle by RJ Wiley

Audubon Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hosted an event at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in celebration of Independence Day and the amazing recovery of our national symbol – the Bald Eagle.

Audubon is proud to have played a role in the bald eagle’s amazing success story in Florida,” said Eric Draper, executive director for Audubon Florida. “Our dedicated staff and EagleWatch volunteers, along with our state agency partners, have helped to identify potential threats to these magnificent birds and their nest sites, but our work is far from done. Together, we are leading the nation in the protection of this important and iconic species.

I think very few people know how close the nation came in the 1960s to losing its national symbol to extinction,” said Charles Lee, advocacy director for Audubon of Florida, which operates a birds of prey center in Maitland that has rehabilitated and returned to the wild 450 bald eagles.

For more information on this great event, please see:

Audubon Florida Releases the 439th Rehabilitated Bald Eagle Back to the Wild

posted on February 8, 2012 in Birds of Prey Ctr.

Audubon Center for Birds of Prey experts and special guests gathered at the Oakland Nature Preserve today to release the 439th rehabilitated Bald Eagle back into the Florida skies.

Betty Carter, Environmental Specialist from Progress Energy, released the bird in celebration of eagle conservation in Florida.  The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey is a recent recipient of a generous grant from Progress Energy for the Center’s new Eagle Eyes on the Environment program.

This adult Bald Eagle (BAEA # 535-12) was rescued by an Oakland police officer in October 2011 in Oakland, FL.  He was found “hopping along a trail” and Orange County Animal Services transported the bird to the Audubon Centerfor Birds of Prey.  After examination, the bird was found to have a fractured left Coracoid (collarbone) with lacerations over its clavical.  The causes of the injuries are unknown.  This bird’s main issue was poor feather condition.  It was rehabilitated at the Center. Officer Nathanel Eddy, who found the injured Eagle, had the honor of removing the bird’s protective hood before release.

As part of the statewide organization Audubon Florida, the Center treats the largest volume of raptors east of the Mississippi River, including more than 50 Bald Eagles annually.  Last year 75 Bald Eagles were admitted for treatment (11% of total admissions). A study has shown that the Center has had a direct impact on approximately 1/3 of Florida’s current eagle population, either through direct rehabilitation or through the offspring of birds treated and released by the Center.

As an iconic species of the Florida Everglades, the Bald Eagle is a significant ecological indicator of the health of this sensitive ecosystem as well as many of Florida’s Special Places.  The Center contributes significantly to the conservation of eagles through its clinical and rehabilitation programs and education, with more than 250 citizen science volunteers monitoring urban eagle nests statewide as part of its Audubon EagleWatch Program.

To learn more about Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, visit the Center at 1101 Audubon Way, in Maitland, Florida. It is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 per adult and $4 each for children.

Thank you to all of the Center’s supporters for making amazing days like today possible.

Here is a short video of the release:

Volunteers Make a Difference in Conservation

posted on January 18, 2012 in Birds of Prey Ctr.,Volunteering

This past Saturday, more than 25 individuals participated as Wetland Weed Warriors and came out on a very cold morning to help remove exotic plants from our wetland at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey.  This man made wetland, created through a sponsorship from St. Johns River Water Management District and the City of Maitland, helps treat runoff from the nearby roadway and helps maintain the health of Lake Sybelia.  This area (approximately 1/10 of an acre) has become overgrown by many non-native vines and plants, which have prevented the natives from flourishing.  Native plants within our wetland greatly help support a healthy lakefront habitat and provide a food base for wading birds and fish.

Volunteers got down and dirty and helped to clear this area in preparation for herbicide treatment followed by planting in the spring.  This wetland event was day two of a primarily hand removal process.  Disney VoluntEARs joined Audubon staff and volunteers on Friday to start this laborious process.  They graciously donated the use of a large dumpster to remove the plant waste.  Saturday’s event was part of the TogetherGreen initiative, a program empowering individuals to take part in conservation within their communities.  The Center joined forces with Hands on Orlando to recruit volunteers for this event as part of their Martin Luther King Days of Service.  This event was one of many, where Hands on Orlando placed volunteers with different organizations to give back in Central Florida.

The next TogetherGreen Volunteer Day event:  February 11, 2012 at 9:00am.  Birdhouse Bonanza – check the event section of the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey Facebook Page for details.



Chingos Foundation Honored by Audubon for Distinguished Foundation Support

posted on December 30, 2011 in Birds of Prey Ctr.

 The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey received an early holiday gift this year when Chingos Foundation, located in Boynton Beach, awarded the Center with a $15,000 grant.

Chingos has provided clinical support for Bald Eagles and other birds of prey at the Center for more than a decade. They are also supporters of National AudubonSociety’s Puffin Project.

Due to this ongoing and much needed support for the Center, Chingos was awarded the 2011 Audubon Award for Distinguished Foundation Support at the fall Audubon of Florida Assembly. Chingo leaders Jennifer and William Manikas were recently presented with the formal framed award at the Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida at a recent visit in December.

Center Manager Katie Warner and EagleWatch Coordinator Lynda White made the presentation.

Disney VoluntEARS Make a Difference at the Center for Birds of Prey

posted on November 14, 2011 in Birds of Prey Ctr.

Disney has always had a presence at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida. They have sponsored Audubon’s thriving EagleWatch program – headquartered at the Center – for many years, and the Center itself for almost a decade. Their name is displayed on the Eagle Flight Barn, the setting for the critical final stages of an eagle’s rehabilitation, as one of the principal sponsors making the building possible. But today, Disney was present at the Center for Birds of Prey in more than just name.

Thirty members of Disney’s VoluntEARS network visited the Center last week, filling the crisp fall air with the sounds of shovels, hedge clippers, paint brushes, sanders, and electric drills. VoluntEARS, a charitable program made up of Disney cast members, was created in 1992. Since then they have donated millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours to worthy organizations in Central Florida.

Against a suitable Veterans’ Day backdrop of magnificent Bald Eagles perching on their handlers’ arms or turning a curious eye to the day’s proceedings, the VoluntEARS made quick work of spiffing up the grounds and making some much needed repairs to the rehabilitation clinic. Smiling workers trimmed the hedges lining 1101 Audubon Way, lent practiced hands to landscaping upgrades, and even got critical appliances working that had been out of service for years. They made improvements to the chalk wall that gives young visitors to the Center a place to draw pictures of the amazing raptors they see in the surrounding enclosures. They swept sidewalks, tightened gates and fixtures, and made major improvements to air conditioning and bathroom facilities.

Our only question is: Is there anything a VoluntEAR can’t do? Fortunately for Audubon, it appears the Disney cast members are up for any kind of job. Fortunate, too, for the avian patients at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, who finally got to meet some of the people who have made their recovery and release back into the wild a reality.


Audubon Center for Birds of Prey Releases Injured Merlin

posted on October 24, 2011 in Birds in the News,Birds of Prey Ctr.

Last Friday, a first-year male Merlin was returned to the wild by the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey after a remarkable recovery at the Center’s Flight Barn. The young Merlin was transferred to the Center on September 26 with a dislocated shoulder along with other serious ailments. Audubon’s animal care “wizards” monitored and helped the young Merlin regain strength until its release on Daytona Beach.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal was on hand to witness the inspiring release:

“The merlin immediately launched into flight soaring almost to the top of the 16-floor Hilton Daytona Beach Resort. Eventually, it circled over the Boardwalk’s Ferris wheel and disappeared from view, flying south.

‘That was awesome,’ said [Daytona Beach City Commissioner Edith] Shelley.'”

Thanks to all of our supporters and volunteers who make these kinds of special moments possible.  

Join the Flyway Fiesta at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey

posted on September 22, 2011 in Assembly,Birds of Prey Ctr.,Events

Migrate to Audubon Center for Birds of Prey to kick off the annual Audubon Assembly. Join us for an international evening to discover the importance of flyways. Flyways are migration routes used by birds to reach breeding or wintering grounds. Early birds can join staff and volunteers for a special behind the scenes  tour of the premier raptor rehabilitation facility east of the Mississippi. Learn about Florida’s raptor species, the habitats that support them the unique flyways several of these species use to reach their breeding areas. Click here to purchase your tickets right now!

When: Thursday, October 13, 2011 — 4pm Behind the Scenes Tour, 5-7pm Reception

Where: Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, 1101 Audubon Way, Maitland, FL 32751

What: Join Audubon staff and volunteers at the Center for Birds of Prey for this one-of-a-kind experience, including a special presentation by Audubon of Florida’s Director of Wildlife Conservation Julie Wraithmell on the “Magic of Raptor Migration in Florida.” Tickets to this limited event are $25.

  • Arrive early for a special behind-the-scenes tour.  (Tours begin promptly at 4pm)
  • Bring your camera for up close and personal visits with Florida raptors.
  • Reception from 5-7pm.
  • Latin-themed tapas will be served.
  •  Sangria and Beer will also be available for our guests’ enjoyment.

Learn more about the Center: The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey is dedicated to promoting a stewardship ethic towards Florida’s birds of prey and their habitats through medical rehabilitation, interactive education and practical research. For more than 30 years, the Center has been recognized as a leading raptor rehabilitation facility treating between 500-600 birds of prey annually specializing in Bald Eagles. To date, more than 425 rehabilitated Bald Eagles have been released back into the wild.

Don’t miss this opportunity to mingle with some of Florida’s most amazing raptors! Purchase your tickets today!
Please contact Jonathan Webber with any questions or call 850-222-2473. Please note on your registration form if you intend to join the behind-the-scenes tour.

Please feel free to download and share our invitational flyer to this one-of-a-kind event!

A Bird’s Eye View: Our Intern Leaves the Nest

posted on April 27, 2011 in Birds of Prey Ctr.,Events

Our wonderful intern at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey has completed her time helping out at the Center. We cannot thank her enough for her good work, cheerful demeanor and dedication over the coarse of the past months. We wish you the best of luck!

Please enjoy Stormi’s final update for “A Bird’s Eye View” –

Spring is upon us and so is baby bird season. This is a hectic time for the Center for Birds of Prey because we are receiving baby bird’s everyday. Concerned citizens are bringing them to us in cereal boxes, crates, towels, etc. It is critical that we give each one the amount of care they deserve and require; fore if we cannot their health will suffer.

Staff members work diligently to get them back into the wild as quickly as possible. It takes a massive amount of work to get a baby back into the wild. Hand puppets, camouflage, and bird voice boxes are used to feed the baby and avoid imprinting. Supplies used in taking care of baby birds includes towels, food, detergent, soap, dishes, tongs, baby blankets, newspapers, incubators, bandages, medication, and more.

When a baby is finally ready to be returned, other variables may come into play such as assistance with home owners, required nesting boxes, foster parents, or tree climbers. As you can see it is not an easy or cheap task to return a baby bird back to the wild.

To help offset the increased costs during baby season Audubon hosts its’ annual Baby Owl Shower event for guests to learn about our Center and about ways they can help the environment. Instead of a monetary donation we ask that each guest bring a baby bird gift that will help in the survival of the birds being admitted to the Center.

Join us on May 7 at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey from 10AM until 2PM to celebrate and learn about baby bird season. Although I am at the end of my internship at the Center I would not pass up joining in on this fun and educational event. I just want to take a moment in this last blog to thank everyone that I have worked with. I have been surrounded by helpful, caring, intelligent, and insightful individuals. I have learned so much and will miss everyone immensely. Again, thank you so much to everyone I worked with.

Download the invitation flyer for the 2011 Baby Owl Shower!

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