Although not intense bird watchers, Scott and I do enjoy the raptors that we share our farm with. Every winter we get excited for our annual visit from a female Snowy Owl and we've been known to put flags around a hawk's nest in our hay field so the young family can live safely. I like to take a walk into our back field to talk to the young owls that hatch every year, but for some reason, I get the impression they don't appreciate my conversation. Perhaps it's because their return comments are limited to the clacking of their beaks.
These guyz were born this winter and have been living in the shelter of our trees.So I was curious to explore the Alberta Bird of Prey center that was only 30 minutes from my house. My parents visit gave me the excuse to finally visit.
I was incredibly honored to get to handle this little guy.He's a Burrowing Owl and is an endangered species. I've never been so close to such a rare bird.
Spirit, the Golden Eagle has a touching story. He had been found by the side of the road, shot through the head and breast. He survived his ordeal but was left totally blind.He held no grudges and allowed people to touch him. You could see him turning his head to catch sounds to make up for his lack of sight.
Call me a silly American, but I'm still awed by the fierce look of this fellow...My mother also had a good time on the tour and found herself the most popular kid in school when she pulled out some chicken food.Remember those babies in the trees? Well, the highlight of the visit for me was to meet an adult version. A beautiful Horned Owl.He was clearly as excited to meet me as I was to meet him. (Trust me, he's happy on the inside.)