Monday, December 29, 2008

SOS Bird Sanctuary

Saturday morning landed me at the newly open SOS Bird Sanctuary in Sarasota. Over the past few years the term "sanctuary" has been abused in order to cash in on the trendy Eco-responsibility many people are leaning towards. Unfortunately, not all sanctuaries are true sanctuaries. Many of them are roadside zoos using the term sanctuary to bring in more business (and money). I've seen it happen repeatedly. According to Scott, one of the biologists that help keep SOS up and running, that is kind of what happened to the previous sanctuary that was located at this location. SOS took control of the sanctuary recently and they are getting back to their roots. Barn Owl

I'm happy to say that SOS Bird Sanctuary is the real deal. It isn't flashy. It isn’t designed to cater to the tourist. It’s there for the birds. It offers a permanent home to birds that are healthy but previous injuries will prevent them from surviving on their own. It also takes newly injured birds, provides necessary medical care and when ready, releases them back into the wild. As new as they are, they already have some success stories under their belt.

Screech Owls

They still have a lot of work to do, but it’s up and running and the important things are in place. I was there pretty early in the morning and the education portion wasn’t set up yet so I didn’t get a chance to evaluate it, but there is a small education portion. There is a gift shop in the plans but it hasn’t been set up yet.

Red Shouldered Hawk

For all my friends and family that would like to visit, SOS is located at 1708 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota. It is immediately past the Mote Aquarium on the right. There is signage but you have to look for it. They are also looking for volunteers, so anyone with some free time on their hands, this is a good place to spend it. There isn’t a heavily structured volunteer program, so no worries about long commitments. You can volunteer for only day if you wish.

Hours are 10-5 everyday and admission is free, but there is a small donation box to collect voluntary contributions. These are good people, doing a good thing, so lets give them our support! And for those occasional days when you need something interesting to do, keep these folks in mind for volunteering.

If you look closely, you'll notice the Sandhill Cranes above have splints on their legs. Turns out they are frequently attacked by turtles and golfers. Hmmm.


Redd Family History said...

Sounds like a neat place. Did they mention if there's a website yet?

World of Kris said...

Nope, no website yet. I asked about that and it's still in the works.

Redd Family History said...

Thanks for the quick answer. I'm sure they'll have one up soon.

What I can't get over is the cranes with the splints. Turtles attack them? Did they mention a reason or how? I'm kind of suprised that golfers can get close enough as well. You never know what you'll learn at these places.

kenan and tree said...

Looks like a nice place. Love the owl pictures. :)