Owls, Hawks, and Eagles

Thursday, our local-ish Audubon Society, of which we are members, had a falconer speak about his work, as well as about the birds that he hunts with and others that travel with him as educational ambassadors.  I thought that Elizabeth would really enjoy seeing the birds close up, and hoped that Paul would be able to enjoy it as well.

Well, it was a bit longer and slower than I had expected, so it was great that Chepe had been available to go, or I would have had to…leave Elizabeth in the lecture while I wandered around with him?  Or just wandered around with him within the room, distracting all the other attendees?  Or probably we would have just left early.  Lesson learned: from now on, for a while at least, it may be better to find a sitter for Paul for these kinds of things.  Though Paul didn’t see much owl action, Elizabeth sat front and center – and almost got pooped on!

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Majestic Red-tailed hawk

The gentleman who gave the lecture, brought a myriad or live raptors to please everyone in the crowd (well, except for the toddler): there was a saw-whet owl (the smallest), a red-tailed hawk (the most common), a bald eagle (the largest), and a peregrine falcon (the fastest).  He also brought some birds that audience members could handle, such as his own personal hunting bird, a Harris’ hawk, as well as two beautiful exotic species not covered by the migration laws (which prohibit unlicensed everyday people from handling migratory birds):  a Eurasian Hawk Eagle, and a European Eagle Owl.  I got to hold the eagle owl – it was so cool!  Unfortunately, we didn’t get any pictures because Chepe was out with Paul in the front yard, and though a pretty good photographer, Elizabeth didn’t think to do it.  Oh well!  He also had two audience members wear gloves at a time and baited the Harris’ hawk between them, which was neat!

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Harris’ hawk eating raw chicken after flying between audience members.

Share your thoughts:  Have you ever had a close-up experience with wildlife?

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