As winter approaches, the birds migrate south to take advantage of warmer weather, but several raptors have made another visit to the marine park.
Residents gathered on Saturday morning outside the Carmine Carro Community Center in the Marine Park for the annual meeting Raptorama! an event. The locals got close to various birds of prey, such as owls, hawks, falcons, and even an eagle.
Raptorama! is a collaborative effort between NYC Audubon, American Littoral Society, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, Marine Park Alliance and Wildlife In Need for Rescue and Rehabilitation (WINORR). The showcase educates the public about these predators birds and their diet, hunting and migration patterns and standard of living.
Led by Bobby Horvath, founder of WINORR, which provides proper treatment for injured and abandoned avian wild animals, taught people about the different raptors on display.
Several of these birds were found injured and unable to fly – including a red-tailed hawk, which was injured by shotgun pellets, and a crow named Phoenix, which caught fire – are now cared for in captivity, but cannot be released into the wild.
Such birds included the Eurasian Eagle-Owl, Bald Eagle, Barn Owl, Burrowing Owl, Eastern Screech-Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Rough-legged Buzzard, Merlin, American Kestrel and Buzzard. red tail and the aforementioned raven.
“We’re trying to get these animals, these animal ambassadors, out in public so people can have the opportunity to meet them up close and try to cultivate more animal lovers,” Horvath said. “Passionate people and people who want to help these guys succeed in the wild.”
Throughout the event, many people learned new facts and took safe photos with the birds of prey, such as the peregrine falcon which can reach up to 200 mph while diving to capture its prey or how a Eurasian Eagle Owl can live for 20 years in the wild and up to 60 years in captivity.
“It’s really nice to see them up close, much closer than usual when
you are observe the birds, even with your binoculars. It’s special,” said Elaine, an avid birdwatcher. “I didn’t know their full lifespan, and it’s interesting to learn that they tend to get injured especially when they fly away.”