12.7.11

Birdies!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from my visit to the Birds of Prey Visitors Center last May. I can't believe that was over two months ago! Time sure flies when you're procrastinating writing blog posts.

Pacific Northwest Raptors
Phoenix the Turkey Vulture

All of the other birds either stayed towards the back of their cages or screamed at anyone who came too close. Not this cutie though! Phoenix hopped right up to the front and looked me in the eye. We had a lovely little chat. And there was another personable Turkey Vulture named Judge Dread who was in the flying demonstration. He was a cranky boy, and flew up into the trees refusing to come back down. He was still ignoring the handlers an hour later when we left. This is why Turkey Vultures are awesome.

Pacific Northwest Raptors
Dramatic hawk is dramatic

Not much to say about the hawks. They were hopping and fluttering about on their perches, twisting their heads around to get a good look at us. Later on, one managed to get off his tether somehow, and swooped down during the Barn Owl's flying demonstration. He obeyed the handlers though, and was caught before he could catch his snack. Needless to say, poor Cleo was pretty spooked after that.

Pacific Northwest Raptors
Cleo the Barn Owl with the handler

Pacific Northwest Raptors
Falcons!

There were falcons galore! It's pretty creepy when they're all sitting quietly, staring at you, most likely plotting  your demise. It reminded me of that scene in The Birds where the blonde lady is sitting outside the schoolhouse. It's super quiet, and after a couple minutes she turns around and realizes that the jungle gym has completely filled up with birds while she had been sitting there.

Pacific Northwest Raptors
Storm the Golden Eagle

Pacific Northwest Raptors
Manwe the Bald Eagle

The eagles were absolutely beautiful! They looked so soft and fluffy and I wanted to hug them. I didn't though. I rather like having all of my fingers, thankyouverymuch. Besides, Manwe probably had fishy breath.

Pacific Northwest Raptors
Anakin the Harris Hawk on my arm! Yay!

This is the lucky hawk that I got to play with on the Hawk Walk. You get to wear one of those big fancy gloves and go for a short stroll through the woods with a hawk and a handler. The hawk flies overhead and lands on your arm to eat the bits of food that the handler puts there, flying away again as soon as he's done. I did get to walk the last few minutes with Anakin tied to my glove, though he wasn't especially happy about it. In fact he seemed downright indignant. I, however, was thrilled!

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