Eye of the Eagle has approximately three dozen hawks, owls and falcons. Thousands of birds have passed through these doors with all sorts of problems. We try very hard to repair, medicate, and rehabilitate these birds of prey to a releasable. In most years we have had a 50% release rate. For those that are too badly damaged to rehabilitate, we humanely euthanize. The remaining birds which can be repaired but are not releasable are placed in educational programs or they serve as exhibit birds. They must all be in at least twelve programs a year or be viewed on an ongoing basis to retain their US Fish & Wildlife permits.

Family: Accipitridae

Subfamily: Accipitrinae

Hawk is a common name for some birds of prey, widely distributed and varying greatly in size. The large and widespread Accipiter genus includes goshawks, sparrowhawks, the Sharp-shinned Hawk and others. These are mainly woodland birds with long tails and high visual acuity, hunting by sudden dashes from a concealed perch. In Australia and Africa Hawks include some of the species in the subfamily Accipitrinae, which comprises the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, * Urotriorchis and Megatriorchis.

In the Americas (and other areas) the term includes small to medium-sized members of the Accipitridae—the family which includes the "true hawks" as well as eagles, kites, harriers and buzzards. Owls are members of the order Strigiformes and are not hawks. The common names of some birds include the term "hawk", reflecting traditional usage rather than taxonomy, such as referring to an Osprey as a "fish hawk" or the Buteo species B. jamaicensis as a Red-tailed Hawk. .


Apache is a male Harris hawk that was purchased for educational programs in place of red-shouldered hawks. Red shoulders are so hyper and stressed; it is almost impossible to take them to programs. So Apache goes instead. He is similar in size, but darker in color with snow white in his tail. Harris hawks are native to the southwest area (Arizona and New Mexico) but there is a colony in south Florida from escaped falconers’ birds.

Apache is a very striking bird and he will readily play eagle at shows. Before he came here Apache had a broken leg, which healed improperly, and caused his fool to turn sideways, so Apache has to have all his perches padded.

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Cricket is a red-shouldered hawk that was completely paralyzed in a severe Florida thunderstorm. Over a period of six months Cricket healed and became releasable hawk. He had been gone for almost a year when I heard a hawk calling persistently. I looked around and there he sat on top of the cougar cage. He was begging for help because a car had hit him. He lost one of his eyes and we had to repair a wing. Once again he healed from all the trauma and injuries, but he was no longer releasable. He is now happy being one of our exhibit birds that gets his food (a mouse or chick) handed to him every day. I was delighted that he was comfortable enough to seek demand attention and me out when he needed help. I guess he remembered.

Mariah and Zev

Mariah and Zev are our two impressive large red tailed hawksMariah has been here for twelve years and she was at least three years old when she arrived with a badly broken wing. That was on of the first wings I’d ever pinned solo. The wing healed well, but became so embedded I could not remove it. Since raptor wing bones are hollow, it takes a very large heavy stainless steel pin to repair the damage. This pin impeded Mariah's flight and her ability to hunt. For years she was an excellent program bird, but due to her age and some degree of grumpiness, I retired her to be an exhibit bird. She seems very happy with her current arrangement. Her cage mate and friend, Zev is also a very large hawk capable of taking large prey such baby deer. I found Zev in a cardboard carton on the back porch. She had a badly broken which had already started to heal abnormally. If I had been able to have her earlier, I could have repaired her wing and probably released her. However, I learned the hard way that I do more damage trying to separate a bone, which already has significant healing than leaving it alone. Unfortunately, Zev can’t fly well enough with her wing droop to hunt prey so she is now an exhibit bird.

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Suborder: Strigimorphae

Families: Strigidae or Tytonidae

Owls are a group of birds that belong to the order Strigiformes, constituting 200 extant bird of prey species. Most are solitary and nocturnal, with some exceptions (e.g., the Northern Hawk Owl). Owls hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds, although a few species specialize in hunting fish. They are found in all regions of the Earth except Antarctica, most of

Greenland, and some remote islands. Owls are characterized by their small beaks and wide faces, and are divided into two families: the typical owls, Strigidae; and the barn-owls, Tytonidae. Owls are variable-sized, typically night-specialized hunting birds. They fly almost silently due to their special feather structure that reduces turbulence. They have particularly acute hearing.


C.B. is a small great horned owl that came from Bushnell, FL after a severe thunderstorm. He was a cold, wet, sick ball of white fluff ball. Slowly with care and medicine,C.B. regained his health and strength.Today he is an excellent educational program bird. He has also developed a very strong personality. He takes baths in the dog water bowl. He dances on peoples’ heads. He hides important sets of keys. He also lets us know he we haven’t fed him enough. He readily hoots to us and keeps going if we hoot back to him. He will readily perch on our arms, but takes serious offense if we try to touch him.C.B. is our star program educational bird, but he prefers indoor shows. Shoshanna, his sidekick great horned owl, takes over for the outdoor performances.


Shoshanna is a very large exquisite female great horned owl. I say female because female birds of prey are larger and more aggressive than males and Shoshanna fits that description. Birds of prey are not dimorphic so you can’t distinguish males from females based on color pattern. She is heat and cold intolerant, so we keep her indoors in extreme heat and cold temperatures. Shoshanna has a big block swing in her indoor cage on which she swings for hours. This is not typical great horned owl behavior and therefore Shoshanna is not releasable.Shoshanna is one of those big powerful great horned owls that can exert 500 pounds of pressure with her huge feet and talons.

Moon Beam

Moon Beam is a gorgeous snowy white barn owl that has been at the sanctuary for many years. He has also been shown in many educations programs and bird of prey displays. He has a heart shaped face that channels sound into his ears located on the side of his head.Moon Beam does not hoot, but rather hisses when he assumes a defensive posture. Moon Beam is here because of a dislocated wing joint which. Although he has done many programs, Moon Beam is never completely comfortable when he is out of his flight cage. His mate, Whisper, is blind in one eye and she is very shy. She serves as an exhibit bird only as she is too nervous to take to programs or shows.


Chipper is a young barred owl that was raised as a baby by another rehabilitator. Unfortunately, Chipper became imprinted or humanized. When I attempted to place him in a flight pen with other barred owls, he was not accepted. In fact they attacked him and without their help I could not teach him how to be an owl. Today he serves as an incredible educational program bird. He is so soft and gentle. He is patient when I fold back his feather and show everybody his incredibly large ear. He even tolerates me spreading his wing and demonstrating the feathering, which allows all owls the property of silent flight. Chipper is a pure joy to work with.

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Widgin Smidgin and Pidgin

Widgin Smidgin and Pidgin are screech owls with different problems. One is missing an eye, one had a broken leg and now has a twisted foot and another was an imprinted bird. Screech owls are as endearing little creatures as exist anywhere. You just want to hug them, but their small size fools you with their feisty attitudes. We can attest to that by showing you the scars of tiny little talons dug deep into our fingers. Screech owls make phenomenal educational program birds because they are too cute and bat their big eyes at anyone who approaches. They also do a charming chitter and delightful trill and whinny in addition to their ear piercing alarm screams. When they are mad or threatened, they clack their little beaks together as do all owls to warn you to back off. To know a screech owl is love a screech owl!

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