Are you a lover of birds and traveling through the state of Florida?
If you answered yes to both of those questions then we have good news for you. There are a number of wildlife preserves and Audubon Centers available in the sunshine state that allow you to have up-close and personal experiences with some of the most majestic animals on the planet.
Audubon Center for Birds of Prey: Maitland
One of Florida’s best kept secrets is located in the city of Maitland. The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey was created to assist in the rescue and medical treatment of Florida’s raptors. The goal of the center is to bring the wounded birds back to health in order to release them back into the wild. Open to the public, the Center offers educational opportunities for guests of all ages. Here visitors have the opportunity to view up-close Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Kites, Owls, and Falcons. In addition exhibits highlight conservation in Florida, climate change and gives a behind the scenes look into the rehabilitation process used to assist the wounded birds. Educational programs are available both on and off-site for those interested in learning more about these birds of prey.
Pelican Island Audubon House: Vero Beach
Considered to be a voice of conservation for Indian River County this location came into existence in 1961. At the time a group of local fishermen, sportsmen and locals came together to stop a housing development that was proposed adjacent to the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. That group has become a 967 member organization that has built a refuge to be a resource for training naturalists, providing stewardship and educating the public about conservation issues that are pertinent to the area. The location seeks to provide guided nature walks, canoe, and Kayaking tours and to develop a live nature video program that provides live streaming video of birds in their natural habitats. Community programs and field trip opportunities exist for those who are interested in learning more.
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary:
Originally founded in 1983 the primary mission of this sanctuary is to care for sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals. When members of the sanctuary realized that the majority of wildlife injuries they were encountering were due to human-related issues, they expanded the mission to include educating the public about nature, wildlife, and environmental issues. With that in mind, they created a facility that would work to bring wildlife and humans together and assist in building community awareness about Florida’s natural resources. The facility hosts educational programming, tours, and exhibits that are open to the surrounding community and public.