Last week we traveled with Steady Eddie down to Pelham, Alabama, and visited the Alabama Wildlife Center at Oak Mountain State Park. We went about a year and a half ago, so we knew what to expect: a working facility where we might expect to see any sort of bird there for rehabilitation. There are several birds that are permanent residents there, too, and while we were there one of the volunteers there brought out the barred owl, Coosa, and the kestrel, Legacy. Both of these birds have environmentally-induced deformities that prevent them from feeding themselves, so they are cared for at the AWC.
We observed the feeders for a long time, noting a variety of birds. I’d love to have one of these outside my dining room window! <3
By far the most unusual thing we saw was an albino (?) cardinal. For obvious reasons, this bird would never survive in the wild. It will be sent to an aviary in another state soon.
We spent most of our time outdoors, walking the beautiful Tree Top Trail down to where there are many large enclosures housing some of the large birds of prey that are permanent residents at the facility. I SO enjoyed this winter-time walk, despite the fact that I was ill-shod for the hike.
We made it back to the trail head with hands and pockets full of rocks, thanks to the DLM’s collecting proclivity. 🙂 We stopped by a new playground at the park to eat a late lunch. I really want to take the kids back in the springtime!
We ended the evening by zipping over to Huntsville to attend a presentation at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens by the International Crane Foundation. Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, which is only about forty miles or so from our home, is home to thousands of migrating waterfowl, including the whooping crane! I’m fascinated by all this, especially the foundation’s efforts to bring the whooping crane back from the brink of extinction. We even got to meet the ICF’s mascot, Hope. 🙂
The trip to the AWC was a last-minute decision, but as usual, I’m really glad we went! This is definitely one of the benefits of homeschooling, and I never want to be too busy to be able to take off on a whim.