Sanctuaries and Sunsets.

In the afternoon of Easter Sunday, I went to see the birds at the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary again. Here are a few portraits of the resident birds, some of whom by now are old friends, like the Red-Shouldered Hawk, the Great-Horned Owl and his house mate, the Barred Owl.

red-shouldered hawk ud121

great-horned owl ud121

barred owl ud121The birds that are most represented among the permanent residents are the pelicans, both the White Pelicans and the Brown Pelicans. They tend to get hurt by human activity on the water. This warm day several of them were bathing in the many pools, large and small placed everywhere in their aviaries. Or preening to look their Sunday best.

brown pelican bathing ud121

white pelican closeup ud121

brown pelican closeup ud121

brown pelican preens ud121My friend the American Oyster Catcher was there too, and appeared to be doing better than last time I saw it.

american pyster catcher closeup ud121On this Sunday, several other birds were visiting their relatives at the sanctuary, like these American Black vultures.

american black vulture 2 ud121

american black vulture ud121I also counted more than 50 nests high in the trees around the sanctuary. I believe birds feel this is a protected zone and are confident building nests in the trees around the park. Here a mama pelican peers down from her nest high up in a tall tree, and a Black-Crowned Night Heron nods off at her nest.

mama pelican in the nest 2 ud121

black-crowned night heron sleeping ud121It was a wonderful, life-affirming visit, as always.

sanctuary ud121If only the earth would be a sanctuary for all its inhabitants.

At mid-week, I enjoyed a great sunset walk on the beach with our son, who was on a business trip here on the Gulf coast.

catamaran at sunset April 18 ud121The sunset was as beautiful as ever. Shore birds were running around at the water’s edge and little sand crabs hurried into their homes for the night.

a willet at sunset ud121.jpg

sand crab UD121The sun disappeared into the ocean leaving a soft glow on the skies. I thought about the beautiful Irish blessing “May every sunset hold more peace.”

sunset April 18 16x9 UD121With that thought I wish you all a wonderful weekend. I will be traveling to spend time with the youngest generation of our family. It always gives me hope. Just like the Osprey chicks.

63 thoughts on “Sanctuaries and Sunsets.”

    1. Thank you, Otto. That sanctuary has an avian hospital and rehabilitates lots of birds every year, and offers a forever home for birds who are fairly healthy, but cannot manage in the wild any more due to a permanent injury. It is truly a wonderful place to visit and support.

  1. Lovely photos as always, Helen. I really appreciate what sanctuaries do for injured animals, and your photos showing some of the lucky survivors. Sunset photos are extraordinary! Have fun on your trip~~

    1. Thank you for visiting the sanctuary with me, Jet. The luckiest birds heal completely and are released back to the wild after rehabilitation, the birds that survive but have permanent injuries have a good life here. Great work worth supporting.

  2. Your blog posts are sanctuaries for your readers, I would say. 🙂 Enjoy your time with family. Did you make the pretty seashell collage in your header? Or was it found art?

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Gallivanta. The pretty seashell art was found on the beach …free for all of us to enjoy. I had so much fun with my grandkids, miss them already.

  3. What a wonderful sanctuary you share with us here and so lovely to hear that other birds build their nests closeby. “May every sunset hold more peace” is such a beautiful blessing. I wish you a wonderful weekend and enjoy your time with the younger generation in your family :o)

    1. Thank you. Happy you enjoyed the visit to the bird sanctuary. I think birds find that place safe and therefore so many had built their nests in the trees there. It is also right on the beach so fishing is easy 🙂 I had a wonderful time with the kids, came home last night and already miss them.

    1. Happy you came to visit the sanctuary, Skip. I had a wonderful time with family, lots of little adventures with the kids and their parents. We spotted a few birds too 🙂

  4. What can one say, Helen? It is such a joy to visit you and receive up-dates on the Salt Marsh community; and today the Seabird Sanctuary. It certainly fills the heart with warmth.
    Here’s hoping you are having a wonderful time with your loved ones; I’m sure you are! 🙂

    1. Happy you enjoyed the sanctuary birds, Carolyn. I had a wonderful time with my family, had little adventures on sea and land and got lots of hugs and kisses 🙂 XXX

    1. Happy you came along for the sanctuary visit and enjoyed the sunset walk, dear Mags. We are back from our trip and adventures with the kids. Dylan is tired from all the excitement 🙂 Hugs and kisses to all of you from me and Dylan.

    1. I loved the seashell art too. I think a young girl had been working on it for many hours earlier that day. Son’s visits are always a treat, and then I got to spend a long weekend with his family in Jacksonville…had a blast 🙂

    1. Thank you for visiting, dear Lorrie. I am happy the pictures made you feel good. I am just back from Jacksonville where I spent a long weekend with grandkids, it was lovely. I hope you are feeling better. Lots of love coming your way 💝

  5. A beautiful and somewhat sad but enlightening post Tiny. Your amazing photos delight and thrill as well as inform us all. Earth is the Sanctuary of all living things but some of humanity has placed itself above other life forms, sadly losing sight of reality. Can we as a whole, ever
    regain respect for all life?

    1. Yes, it is sad that the vast majority of the permanent residents at the sanctuary have been hurt by human activity – very few have suffered from an illness that made them unable to return to the wild. But it is wonderful to see the good work they are doing at their avian hospital and rehab center…so many birds will be able to return to live in the wild. It is indeed discouraging to see that some of the protections for other life forms are being rolled back in the interest of big money and unregulated human activity. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, dear Eddie.

    1. Thanks Amy! That sanctuary is a positive and lovely place despite the fact that the permanent residents will stay there for the rest of their lives.

  6. I loved your post Tiny, I apologise for so late a comment, as we have been away, and not been well, and for some reason each time I tried to comment on my phone, something would interrupt the process. I especially love the sunset photo, well captured. I may have to leave my new job, and I am behind in my posts and mail due to illness. Hope you are enjoying a good week my friend.

    1. Thank you for being here despite all the obstacles. And I am so sorry to hear you are not well, my friend. Will pray you will get well soon.

  7. Thank you, Donna. The birds at the sanctuary are often not moving constantly (like they are in the wild) and therefore it is easier to get close-ups. Happy you liked our friends at the SSBS.

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