it’s all about lunch
A trip to the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center at Mile Marker 94 on Key Largo is an unforgettable experience. In addition to rescuing and rehabilitating injured birds, the center feeds wild birds on their beach each day at 3:30 pm, but it is best to arrive early. Just walk past the cages of birds in rehab toward the shore as lunch approaches. The birds will point the way.
You’ll know when you have reached your destination. The Brown Pelicans have already started to gather.
Take a seat, if you can. Otherwise, it will be standing room only for it seems all of the pelicans in Florida Bay have come for lunch.
Tension fills the air as lunch time approaches.
Suddenly, a gloved hand reaches into a bucket and seafood flies everywhere.
Every beak for himself. The pelicans are harmless, but if you’re standing too close you might accidentally get a wet wing in the kisser. Lunch is serious business around here.
The guy with the biggest beak seems to get all the breaks.
Fortunately, there’s food for all.
Finally, lunch ends and the crowd disperses.
After a late lunch is over the sun sinks lower in the sky and the bay-shore returns to normal.
If you happen to be in the Florida Keys do yourself a favor and stop at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center. The visit is free, but donations are accepted. As with most charities, the recession has put the center’s work in jeopardy. The staff and volunteers care for injured animals who would probably die without their help. As for the afternoon feeding, the number of fish in Florida Bay has declined; so even that meets a need. If you’re unable to drop by, read the article found at the link above. If you enjoy wildlife I guarantee you’ll be touched.