I always have mixed feelings about going to conferences in beautiful places, since you spend most of your time sitting indoors under fluorescent lighting and may as well be in New Jersey. But Florida fortunately wasn’t all work; the highlight was being six feet away from a bald eagle.
These were taken at the Boyd Hill Preserve in St. Petersburg. All the birds of prey in the aviary are injured in one way or another, and could not survive in the wild. The eagle, for instance, lost many of his flight feathers to a snakebite when young.