Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Raptors

We took a short trip south, about an hour away, to visit The Pacific Northwest Raptors.  What a surprise to see Kookaburras at the entrance.  They are not true raptors, but are considered predatory and do hunt snakes and insects.  We were encouraged to make a high-pitched, rolled-r noise to entice the two birds to laugh.  We couldn't help but laugh back.  The pictures of the birds that were behind wire in pens didn't turn out well.  The camera focused on the wire rather than the birds.  Some show a little detail.
This raven side stepped right over to us for a little chat.
The birds perch outside their pens for a while each day for sun and a change of scenery.
The birds are also encouraged to fly "free" each day during demos and exercise times.
Since the day was quite warm, this eagle tired quickly.
This hawk is somewhat common in our area.
Turkey vultures can also be seen flying so gracefully above treetops in our area.
This great-horned owl was so silent when it flew.  She had it flying inches above our heads.
This falcon was amazing in flight. 
Here's where we sat to watch the demo.
You can see a perch off in the distance further back from the larger hut.  The birds would fly from that perch to the presenter's arm, up into trees and to additional perches set around the field.
The demo was so impressive.  Tina, the presenter, was obviously very passionate about her job and demonstrated such care and respect for these amazing birds.  All the people working and volunteering at the facility seemed committed to keeping the birds happy and healthy.  It was a great visit.

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