I had never heard of the Ohio Bird Sanctuary before, but it turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the whole trip!
The only other bird sanctuary I had ever been to was the raptor center in Yellow Springs (which I love), but this is much larger and much more interactive.
The sanctuary even had an enclosure that you could walk into and there were a variety of birds like blue jays, doves, pheasants, killdeers, etc.
Blue jays are so obnoxious (as this guy was), but so pretty!
Since the enclosure was one of the two places (the visitor's center was the other) that Cheese wasn't allowed in, my sister was kind enough to look after him while Antoine and I went inside. Aunt Michelle was also nice enough to offer up some scratches and some lovin'...which Cheese obviously did not turn down!
The sanctuary also had a wide variety of flowers and plants in gardens surrounding the bird enclosures. And there were a plethora of bees investigating the flowers; I simply couldn't resist...
I'm not sure what these orange bugs are but they were all over this particular plant!
Next up we took turns checking out the small but nice visitor's center...
Lazarus and Milo, two of the Eastern Screech Owls that live in the visitor's center.
A cute fluffy bunny that calls the visitor's center home.
As we were getting ready to leave one of the staff members started training with Diesel, a Red-shouldered Hawk. After she was done she noticed we were admiring the bird and was kind enough to come closer and answer some questions about Diesel, who is a falconer's bird currently being trained as a program bird.
Then, shortly after meeting Diesel, another staff member brought Lazarus, one of the Screech Owls in the visitor's center. Laz was actually hit by a car and thought to be dead, but made a miraculous recovery. He has eye and brain damage which makes it hard for him to focus on objects, thus making hunting for food impossible.
This picture was taken right after Laz noticed Cheese, who was sitting about six feet away and started whining (probably because we were paying attention to an owl instead of him). Laz proceeded to focus on Cheese, not taking his eyes off him, for several minutes. The staff member said that was a big deal for Lazarus since he usually couldn't focus on something that far away for that amount of time!
It was so cool to see this little guy up close! And I think he enjoyed being out in the warm sun for a while.
If you're ever in the area I highly suggest you check out the Ohio Bird Sanctuary! It's a great place to spend a couple hours, plus it is free and very informational!