Image by Photo by John Mead, Blue Lion Photos Hooded Vulture at The Center for Birds of Prey
The Avian Conservation Center has added three new resident birds to its collection at The Center for Birds of Prey.
The Hooded Vulture, Chaco Owl, and Spectacled Owl bring increased biodiversity to the Center and will assist in its educational mission.
Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus) – The Hooded Vulture is the fourth species of vulture to reside at the Center, and the first of the Old World vultures. This vulture is native to Africa and is one of the smaller Old World vultures. The Hooded vulture and the Turkey vulture, which is indigenous to South Carolina, are an excellent example of convergent evolution; these two species developed similar physical characteristics despite the fact that they evolved from unrelated lineages . This particular hooded vulture was transferred to the Center from the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.
Chaco Owl (Strix chacoensis) – The Chaco Owl is a wood owl native to the Chaco Plains of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. This individual, a male, came to the Center from Cambridge, Ontario. This owl is one of the few Chaco Owls in the United States and illustrates the diversity within owls, especially as compared to the other 15 species of owls at the Center. It is closely related to the Barred Owl, which is found in the Lowcountry.
Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata) – The Spectacled Owl is the second of its kind at the Center. This male is being paired with the resident female for breeding, education and research. Spectacled owls are native to Central and South America.
“The Avian Conservation Center is dedicated in its mission to educate not just about raptors that live in our backyard, but how they are related to birds around the world. By increasing our understanding of issues being faced by raptors globally, we are better able to take steps locally to protect these magnificent animals that are so important to our eco-system,” said Jim Elliot, Executive Director of the Avian Conservation Center.
All three of the raptors are available for viewing at The Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw. The Center is open to the public Thursday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with tours at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. and flight demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.