SINHG Visits The Center for Birds of Prey

Fittingly located along the Atlantic Flyway of bird migration, the Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw is an exceptional site for observation of raptors—both on-site as well as passing overhead.

A dozen SINHG members visited the center on the 2nd of November, where we had close encounters with majestic hawks, eagles, and owls, and learned of their sensitivity to changes in the environment, most of which reflect the impact of human civilization. We are indebted to our superb guide Stephen Schabel.

We were dubiously treated to a ringside seat at the Vulture Restaurant, where excess meat and critter parts from the Center are made available to any winged guests who respond to the open table laid out in a nearby field. 

We learned to differentiate Black from Turkey Vultures, and expanded our scrabble and trivia repertoires through the addition of ‘cleptoparasitism’ and ‘Reverse Sexual Dimorphism’—the first of which refers to stealing prey from other raptors and the second, the fact that some female raptors are larger than their male counterparts.

Several of us wound up the day at a venerable local institution, the Seewee Restaurant (not to be confused with the other Restaurant discussed above) where we enjoyed low country fare and good conversation. Participants in the trip were: Ellen and Bob Alexander, Bob and Pat Derajtys, Trish Ernstrom, Stuart Hotchkiss and Claudia Porter, Craig Johnson, Nancy and Ray Sanchez, Shaun and Sarah Sullivan, Julia Thogmartin.

Photos below (click to enlarge for slide show).

-Submitted by Shaun Sullivan

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