Center offers attraction for people, care for injured birds

By Ava Wilhite

AWENDAW, S.C. (WCIV) -- It's a growing wildlife attraction that also serves as a hospital for injured birds.

The Center for Birds of Prey first opened its doors in 1991. Since then, its mission of conservation has only expanded.

"We understand that birds will tell us a lot about what's happening in the environment{} and ultimately help us identify problems that might affect humans as well because they cause to many problems for us," says Stephen Schabel, the center's director of education.

He said one of the center's goals is to study human impact on the environment through the observations of birds of prey.

But the center started as a place to care for injured birds.

"They get hit by cars, they get shot, they get tangled in things and so initially, the idea was to help mitigate those negative impacts that we have on the environment since then we've grown into and educational research facility in addition to our medical efforts," said Schabel. {}

The center moved to its current 152-acre property in Awendaw in 2005.

Schabel said the property was donated to the nonprofit to help them continue nature education and outreach.

"There are places teaching people about nature all around us and we're kind of a hub close to the urban area of Charleston, very close to the urban area of Myrtle Beach and Georgetown and yet we are still very rural in character," he said. "And it's a great place to get outside and experience nature and there is a number of places that you can do that here we're just one of them."

Our 'Your Neighbors' series will head to Awendaw this week.

We will broadcast our 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. newscasts live from the Awendaw Green Barn Jam.

We're also collecting donations for the Lowcountry Food Bank and encourage you to come out and bring any extra canned food you may have around your home.