Located inside the sprawling Latta Plantation lies the Carolina Raptor Center. For the past 40 years, the non-profit organization has sought to both rehabilitate raptors and provide educational opportunities to the community. According to carolinaraptorcenter.org, the center treats around 1k birds a year and returns approximately 70% to their natural habitat!
The winding, unpaved trail is dotted with wooden birds and educational stations.
As we stride together from cage to cage, Matt reads to me the names and stories of each bird.
This little bird is Swainson’s hawk and a long-term resident of the Carolina Raptor Center.
His plaque’s inscription informs us that he arrived to the center very young. He immediately imprinted on his attendants and is now domesticated.
(Shoutout to my smart husband who suggested I photograph each bird’s informational sign before moving on!)
Pishimatakoa (“rainbow”), King Vulture
I found the task of shooting through chain-linked enclosures, focusing manually all the while, to be a welcome challenge.
Minna the Merlin
My favorite bird of all is the Eurasian Eagle Owl. I was delighted to find that the Carolina Raptor Center currently has one!
Kahn, Eurasian Eagle Owl
How cute is he? I could have enjoyed his company all day.
I used my Canon 40D, alternating between my 24mm lens and my 70-200 mm lens, to capture these photographs.
To learn more, visit http://www.carolinaraptorcenter.org.