The Nature Of It: The Raptors of Tanglewood

WETM Special Reports

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The Tanglewood Nature Center has a total of five raptors in their collection and they are in the process of acquiring a falcon.

All of these animals are ones that would not be able to survive in the wild, whether due to injury or their connection with people.

“We are the final safe enrich and loving home for animals that have been rehabbed. Not successfully enough healed from their injuries to go back to the wild,” says Bridget Sharry the Community Relations Manager for Tanglewood.

Sophie is a great horned owl who is estimated to be around 14 years old. When traveling to schools for programs, she is one who is requested the most.

“She wouldn’t be able to hunt very successfully. But in her world as she sees it, she is absolutely an apex predator in every cell in her being,” Sharry says. “She gets to go out and meet thousands of kids and remind them why wildlife matters and why it’s really important to have different species on the planet besides humans.”

Oliver, or Ollie, is a young barred owl and is the baby of the collection. Barred owls are pretty common to our area and they especially love forests by wetlands.

“He has two detached retinas and so his vision is negatable at best. His hearing is still good, he can fly and as long as we don’t move the perches in his enclosure he knows exactly where everything is,” Sharry says.

Hank is a red tailed hawk who has been with the Nature Center since 2006 and is around 14 years old. Sharry says that he is a gentleman of a bird, which you don’t typically see with raptors.

“He has some limited flight ability, so he could not hunt successfully in the wild,” Sharry says. “For a nice tasty morrsel of mouse maybe, he learned a fun new trick of flying from the glove to a perch and then back. “

To learn more about the raptors or the other collections they have, stop in and visit the Tanglewood Nature Center.

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