Saturday, October 6, 2007

Where Do I Begin?

Wow, I've been away from my computer for 8 days, and I have been doing so much while I was gone, I hardly know where to start. The best place to begin must be at the beginning, so set your "Way-Back" machine for Saturday, September 29. Let's stop off at the Cincinnati Nature Center for a brief glimpse of the Great Outdoor Weekend. I'm sure Susan has posted about this, too, so this may be a rerun for some of you.

The Great Outdoor Weekend is an event sponsored by CNC, and many of the local outdoor and nature businesses and organizations participate. There are nature hikes and bird walks all over the Tri-state area, and groups like Sierra Club, Audubon, and the Oxbow group do educational programs, all in the name of encouraging interest in the outdoors.

RAPTOR, Inc. was at CNC with a nice display of birds, and I stopped by after work to say hello. This is Marc, with Scarlet, the Red-tailed Hawk. I understand she can be a bit of a pill, but she behaved herself very nicely until Marc went to put her away for a break, then she bated. She's a big girl - I was impressed with Marc's ability to restrain her and get her under control.

You know this lady - Susan has the Great Horned Owl well in hand. (I forget if this bird has a name.) Another bird I wouldn't want to challenge over who gets the drumstick.

"Whooo, me?"

This little Eastern Screech-Owl was sitting quietly on a perch on the table, and I didn't even noticed it at first. Even when I saw it, I wasn't sure at first if if was alive or stuffed, it sat so still. I know the owners of the West Highland White Terrier didn't see the bird, but the little owl noticed the dog right away. He (she?) peered down at the dog very suspiciously, till Susan took him up and moved him away from the dog. (The Great Horned Owl also studied the terrier closely, but not in fear - more like it was thinking, "Lunch!")

I think this photo is my favorite of the day. It shows how small screech owls really are. (More on screech owls in another post.) Susan has such a big smile on her face, and you can tell she is having a good time. I even got Marc in the background!


Susan Gets Native said...

Thank you for posting such a good picture of me!

I can't wait to hear about your trip!!!!!

holly said...

My cousins gave me Summer Of The Falcon when I was about 12 and it was fascinating to me. Very informative on birds of prey and the training involved.

Thanks for the pics. Love the little guy! I didn't realize they were that small either.

dguzman said...

Finally made it over to your blog. I like your Toxic Tuesdays posts (I'm a forensic science major; gotta learn my poisons).

That is a great pic of Susan and her screech; your description of its stillness reminded me of the first time I saw a screech owl. He was standing on a neighborhood street near TX Christian Univ in Fort Worth, about midnight. I saw him in the headlights and thought it was a soda can at first. I slowed down and watched for a few seconds; then he flew onto a low tree branch over the road. I was in a hurry and didn't get to watch, but he was TINY!