A “wild” time in Atlantic Beach

Mr. Cooper hand feeds Jo-Jo.

Mr. Cooper hand feeds Jo-Jo.

Jo-Jo and Moe hang out togeth in a large oak tree.

Jo-Jo and Moe hang out togeth in a large oak tree.

“One man’s wilderness is another man’s theme park”, a quote from comedian writer Elayne Boosler, rushes through my head as I arrived at Millard and Barbara Cooper’s home in Atlantic Beach.
A sign proudly strapped to a large oak tree proclaiming this property a Certified Wildlife Habitat greets you as you enter their property.
Wildflowers and plants adorn the property where hundreds of colorful birds, both resident and migratory, dart back and forth against the warm morning sun.
Feeling like an observer in Doctor Doolittle’s book, where talking to the animals is the central theme, Mr. Cooper directs, his Barred owl buddies (Jo-Jo and Moe) to fly from tree to tree, rewarding them with hand feedings. These two owls have nested on his property for the last 8 years while raising baby owls annually in the process.
After a few more commands, the female swoops down to grab some food, and then flies off hooting followed by a fluttering noise. Mr. Cooper quickly explains that Jo-Jo is announcing to her mate that she has the food.
Welcome to the Coopers theme park.

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