Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Gone to the Birds

Recently, my husband and I made a trip to Lake Guntersville State Park in northern Alabama, along with my brother and sister-in-law.  It was my first trip to that specific location but bro and sis had camped there numerous times over the years. 


If you recall, in April 2011, numerous tornadoes tore through north Alabama, wreaking havoc on many cities and towns.  One of the locations hit was this park.  It was so sad to see the damage that still remains, even though cleanup and recovery work has been ongoing since the event. 


This is part of the campground that in its normal state would be covered with an assortment of tall hardwood and pine trees, providing welcome shade to summertime campers.  There are very few trees left standing in the campground.  Other areas of the park were hit also, and although a lot of the downed timber has been removed, there's still lots left.


In spite of the devastation around us, we enjoyed the weekend together.  Except for the drive up, the weather was beautiful, although very cold.  We went up as part of the Eagle Festival that takes place yearly.  The eagles were not nearly as plentiful this year as some, most likely due to the mild winter throughout the country.  But, we did see a few and did see a nest site which we learned had three eaglets in it.    I'm sorry I can't show you pictures of those eagles, but my camera lens is just too short to show anything but a speck. 


On Saturday night, we attended a program by S.O.A.R.  (Save Our Avian Resources), a non-profit entity dedicated to the protection, rehabilitation and conservation of all American raptors.  See their link here.  http://www.soarraptors.org/

While I have seen most of the birds in the wild, it was a treat to see them up close and personal during the flight demonstrations. 
Barn Owl 

Red-Tailed Hawk 

Black Vulture 

Bald Eagle 

Bald Eagle 
There were several other birds of prey in the program as well.  All of these birds came to the organization either through injury or through too strong human habituation and, thus, are unable to survive in the wild.  The eagle, for instance, has only one wing due to being shot.  The left wing was amputated but otherwise, he thrives.  All the birds were fascinating, including the black vulture which would follow the lady around like a puppy!


As they finished each segment, the bird was brought around the room so that everyone could get a good closeup look.  I sat there near to tears at seeing the beauty of these magnificent creatures no more than two feet from my face.


With the unusually mild weather all over the country, I'm afraid that the spring migration may be disrupted.  Ah, well. I will enjoy it whenever it occurs and I'd encourage all of you to step outside and take notice.    


Y'all take care.  




3 comments:

  1. I'm with you on the tears - brings a huge lump to the throat to see such magnificent creatures. What kind of moron would shoot at a Bald Eagle? Many years ago I got to see the eagles near St Charles in MO, it was mid-February, that will stay with me forever.

    Glad you had such a good trip.

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  2. Wow what a small world it is Florida Farm Girl! I stopped over here from Bilbo's pond and look what I've found! A post about my "backyard"! Guntersville is the next town south of us and that April 27th was a horrible day for all. I came here almost 3 years ago from a tornado free zone and it's been a real learning experience for sure. A very large tornado stopped right on the corner of our road 1/2 a mile from the house but that didn't stop the debri cloud from dropping all sorts of stuff in our woods. Very scary. Nice to meet you! I love your house! I'm going to explore some more. We also enjoy Danni at Critter Farm in common. She was my inspiration to begin a blog years ago!

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