Elder Field at the Mt. Tom State Reservation was the site of a Birds Of Prey exhibition by Tom Ricardi who has had a lifetime career in wildlife law enforcement and education and a vocation helping injured raptors recover, return to the wild, or live out their lives in comfort in captivity.
Ricardi, who retired from the Massachusetts Department Of Fish and Wildlife in 2001,
operates the non-profit Massachusetts Birds Of Prey Rehabilitation Center in Conway Ma., where he cares for more than a dozen varieties of raptors, including owls, hawks, and falcons, and breeding bald eagles in captivity so their chicks can be released into the wild.
Here are a few varieties of birds and owls on display Sunday:
Ricardi does most of the work himself, feeding, cleaning cages, collecting sticks for the birds to build nests, and bringing birds to local schools for educational talks.
"There are a lot of rules and regulations, and it is quite a bit of work, but I love it," Ricardi says. "The best thing is, when I go to a school, I usually get letters back from the kids. That's exciting, especially when I go to a school in a big city. A lot of the kids have never been in contact with wildlife at all, let alone a bald eagle. I love to share this with the kids."