TRIPS: Simmons Park, Ruskin, FL
Do not look for rest in in any pleasure, because you were not created for pleasure: you were created for Joy. And if you do not know the difference between pleasure and Joy you have not yet begun to live.~Thomas Merton
STEVE HODDY brings his birds to E.G. Simmons Park sponsored by Raptor Center of Tampa Bay, FL.
Steve Hoddy, founder of EarthQuest, started studying falconry in 1967. Early on, Steve came across the last known active California Condor nest site, and worked closely with US Fish and Wildlife Service to c apture the remaining CA Condors for breeding in captivity. Over time, young Condors were released in the Grand Canyon and other historical nesting sites in California. In 2007, there were 463 Condors living in the wild and in captivity.
In 1976, Steve was featured in the nature movie “Their Only Chance,” loosely based on his work with a golden eagle, named Cougar and a coyote. He also trained all of the animals featured in the film. He then did a raptor program at ABC's Wildlife Preserve in Maryland designed by Jim Fowler of 'Wild Kingdom who he later worked for.
In 1985-1989 Steve became consultant for a raptor program at Weekie Wachee, FL, designing the entire Birds of Prey demonstration.
Steve then went to Silver Springs, FL to create an outreach program for schools and events utilizing birds and wildlife. He designed the 'Jeep Safari’ rides, and built habitats for alligators, hove stock, sloth, snake, skunk, raccoons and various birds.
In 1989, after forming EarthQuest, Steve was hired by Al Cere from Dollywood, TN to train a bird named “Challenger” to fly at many national events. In 2000, he designed and implemented Callaway Gardens 'Birds of Prey' program a program consistently ranked #1 favorite at the park. He also acquired two black bears, later donating them to a Colorado wildlife preserve.
Today, Steve continues his dedication to environmental education with a focus on presentations for school students and special public events.