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Saturday Morning PhotoWalk at Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary


Visit the Skimmer Colony and get instruction on shooting birds and birds in flight



This morning's Wildside PhotoWalk will be a little different. The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary is a great place to photograph numerous captive and wild birds. On the beach the Skimmer colony will be getting active and great shots can be obtained with relatively short telephoto lenses. In all there are at least 30 species of birds that can easily be photographed.

Located on the beautiful Gulf Coast of Florida, the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary is a truly unique place.    Founded in 1971 by zoologist Ralph Heath, the Sanctuary is the largest non-profit wild bird sanctuary in the United States. It is staffed by experienced professionals assisted by over a hundred dedicated volunteers. Similar to a human hospital, it is equipped with emergency facilities, a surgical center, and indoor and outdoor rehabilitation areas. An average of 23-30 wild birds are admitted every day for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, approximately 90% of these injuries are directly or indirectly attributable to humans.

The Sanctuary is considered to be one of the top avian rehabilitation centers in the world. Up to 10,000 wild injured birds (159 different species ) were admitted to the hospital each year  for care. Happily, over 80% of the birds that survive the first 24 hours are successfully  rehabilitated and released back into the wild. These statistics rank the Sanctuary as the largest and most successful wild bird hospitals in the United States.

There are a variety of species that are permanent residents at the Sanctuary, ranging from tiny song and garden birds to the majestic birds of prey. Although the goal is always to release the birds after they have recuperated from an illness or injury, those who have sustained injuries that prevent them from surviving in the wild are kept permanently at the Sanctuary or given to another reputable facility. Any offspring these permanent residents produce are released into the wild.

There is no admission fee to the sanctuary, but donations are suggested to help the organization continue their mission to help sick and injured birds.


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  • Sharon Y.

    Great day! Great weather! Great company!

    June 14, 2014

  • Jeff D.

    There is rain predicted for early tomorrow morning, but it should be over by the 9 AM start time. The location of the sanctuary makes it very hard to predict rain because of the chance of pop-up showers in the morning.

    I'll cancel the event by 7 AM if severe weather, lightning etc. threatens the coastal area. I'll email members the cancellation and also post a comment on the event page on the FCCP site.

    Please understand that the email server has been running slowly and emails have been going out/received about 30 to 60 minutes after I send them. I've alerted the Meetup Support Team to this situation, but I've not heard back from them. I'll also post any cancellation in the comments section and change the title of the event to *** CANCELLED *** as well. So, for the most up-to-date information, check the website. You're also welcome to email me before 8 AM as to the status of the event.

    June 13, 2014

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