Thursday, February 20, 2014

St. Louis - Home of the Birds

St. Louis is world renowned for being the home of the birds….the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, that is.

In addition to being the home of the famed St. Louis Cardinals, however, Saint Louis is home to several species of birds of prey, and is also used as a stopping point for other species during the migration.
A Red-tailed Hawk fledgling recuperating in one of our Wildlife Hospital flight cages (photo by Adam Triska)
Birds of prey are all around us in St. Louis--from Great Horned Owls in Forest Park, to Peregrine Falcons on top of the AT&T building, to Bald Eagles riding the thermals over the arch grounds.  Spotting birds of prey is a great indication that the ecosystem in our neck of the woods is healthy and hearty.

This is a new thing for many people in St. Louis for the most part.  Being protected all across our country, birds of prey have flourished and reestablished in urban areas, therefore becoming much more visible to urban dwellers.  Just in my neighborhood, we have Great Horned Owls and Red-tailed Hawks.  At my aunt’s house in Maplewood, Missouri, there are Barred Owls just steps away in Deer Creek behind her house.
Coopers' Hawk fledglings cooling off in a backyard birdbath (photo by Gay Schroer)
All of the different birds of prey found in St. Louis each fill a significant role that urban environments naturally possess.  Being highly intelligent and having the ability to coexist in such close proximity to humans, is quite an impressive feat.  ….so hats off to the birds for adapting and soaring in such conditions.

If you would like to learn more about a bird of prey that you have spotted in your neighborhood, take a trip out to the World Bird Sanctuary where you will be able to view representatives of your new urban neighbors up close and learn all about their habits and needs.

Submited by Adam Triska, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist/Trainer

1 comment:

Mark said...

Excellent points about how birds of prey are all over urban and suburban areas like St. Louis. Thank you for the mention of the Great Horned Owls in Forest Park!

Mark H.X. Glenshaw
Forest Park Owls