Eagle Days

Sunday, February 8, 2009
Spent today out and about, we went to Eagle Days down at the Visitor Center where I volunteer.  The place was packed, they have room for about 70 people each program, and had been completely filled both days.  First we saw a--
Red Tailed Hawk.   She was quite comfortable with the audience.  Next we saw a--
Gyr Falcon.  She was more excitable, so she wore a hood until she was outside her cage for a while.  She was a lovely white with speckles on her back and wings.  This is the breed of falcon royalty in Europe would hunt with.  Next was a--
Screech Owl.  He was hard to photograph because his eyes "glowed" in all my pictures.  He was just a tiny fellow.  Did you know each "ear" is in a different spot on each side of his head?  This helps him locate prey easier.  And last of all was--
the Bald Eagle.  He was too large for them to hold on their arm while they talked, so he just sat on the floor.  Yes, the kids were pretty close up front.  There were two rows of kids sitting on the floor in front of the chairs.  (if you look you can see that the handlers have ropes that are fastened to the birds legs so they can't get away.)
When you see their talons, you know why the handlers wear heavy leather gloves.  They said their beak is not near as dangerous as the talons! 
There is open running water by the dam year round, so often many eagles sit in the trees waiting to fish or just resting.  Today lots of fishermen were by the dam, so the eagles had moved downriver out of our sight.  But on a quiet day the rangers counted over 65 of them in the trees one morning! 
I live on the migratory flight path for Bald Eagles, and have seen as many as 200 sitting in a corn field (not many trees where they were)It was quite impressive, they almost looked like short people sitting out there.


MightyMom said...

what a racket it must have been when 200 all took off at the same time! wooooooooosh!!

we have LOTS of red tailed hawks out here.

Howdy said...

Wow... how cool is that! We have some sort of falcon or hawk around here... I see them circling from time to time but haven't figured out just what they are.

Katie Z. said...

DH would have loved to see all the birds! oh, my... what lovely creatures.

Ann said...

Raptors are so cool - we also love going to see them when we get a chance. We get hawks and the occasional eagle around our place, but more turkeys than anything else!

QuiltinLibraryLady said...

I've been up by the dam when the eagles are sitting in the trees. They are indeed impressive birds. When my nephew lived over by Creighton he had problems with the eagles carrying off his cats. Once one picked up his puppy but had to let it go because it was too heavy for him to get very high of the ground & my nephew was beating on him with a tree limb. The puppy survived but had to have stitches for deep cuts made by the talons.

InfinityQuilter/Knitter said...

That looks like it would have been fun! My in-laws said there are at least 3 bald eagles hanging out by the river by their house. Of course, WE haven't seen them around there though. ;0)

Pat said...

What a fun day! We love to go to programs about the birds of prey!

only turkey, Canadien geese and owl sightings here :)

Stephanie D said...

Catching up. Love the blue and white Jacob's ladder--very nice!

I don't think I've ever seen a bald eagle outside of a zoo, and to see 200 sitting in trees would just blow my mind.