Monday, May 4, 2009

My World: Hyland Park Raptor Release


I spent most of my day on Saturday at the Hyland Lake Park Reserve.
As one of the larger parks in the Three Rivers Park District Hyland has a lot to offer. At the visitors center you can rent skates during the winter or a canoe during the summer.
They also have a state of the art play area, called Chutes and Ladders, for the kids.
The reason that I was there for though was this years Spring Raptor Release for The Raptor Center.
I arrived at the park before anyone else from The Raptor Center so I decided to take a quick look around. Visitors were already gathering for the event like a couple of pair of wood ducks that I found high in the trees. I always wonder how they can perch this way with their flat webbed feet. Since the event was a raptor release a wild broad-winged hawk showed up and perched in a tree close to where the birds were do to be released.
The ducks and red-tail did not hang out to long because the crew from The Raptor Center arrived along with our gang of education birds. Although there was nothing to be afraid of from Casper the friendly red-tail, with his bad wing he can not really fly.
Kettle our broad-winged hawk was there. He was shot with a bee bee gun when he was in the nest and still has a bee bee in his head. Unfortunately it is lodged to close to his brain for us to be able to remove.
We brought Jack, one of our imprinted male American kestrels, to the event but he was a bit unruly. The male kestrels tend to get a bit territorial around this time of the year, which makes them a bit of a challenge, so we gave him a break and brought out Cinnamon, our female kestrel. She is always a star.
I was stationed in the hawk and eagle ring so I was responsible for answering questions about these birds as well as protecting them from rampaging children who wanted to pet the birds. I don't think that Taiga our female merlin falcon would have appreciated that.
I did have the opportunity to handle at the event, under the supervision of a staff member, but Artemis, the bird who I have worked with the most, was busy with other new handlers. She is such a great bird that she is often used as the first bird that a new handler begins with.
We also did have a couple of our eagles and Nero our turkey vulture in a ring and several owls in a ring. We even brought out Otus, who is an eastern screech owl. The staff has been working hard with Otus especially since Squeak passed. Squeak, who was a grey phase eastern screech owl shared a mew with Otus.
The day turned out to be almost perfect. The weather was warm and sunny and a big crowd turned out to see us release some raptors back into the wild. We released three birds that day a coopers hawk and two red-tails including this dark morph red-tail which is rare for Minnesota.

16 comments:

Lynne said...

What? No pictures of Nero?

Guy D said...

It must've been a great day, these shots are great.

Have a great week
Guy
Regina In Pictures

ewok1993 said...

Outstanding post, as always.

SandyCarlson said...

I am enraptored by these images!

James said...

When I see raptor "Lost World" comes to mind. lol That looks like a fun and very interesting day. Great pictures.

sixstars said...

Very informative both in words and pictures. Beautiful birds.

Martha said...

What a great event and you did shuch a good job chronicling it.

PSYL said...

All of them birds are so beautiful. You're very lucky! Thank you for sharing!

Janie said...

What a great way to show off the birds and the work the Raptor Center does. Beautiful photos of some lovely birds.

Marites said...

that is really nice and it's really great that you were able to share with other people especially the kids. That way, they would appreciate the birds more. Those are really great pics and the birds are just so beautiful.

Abe Lincoln said...

This is one of the best posts I have seen today. I liked the photograph but most of all I like the running narrative that goes with the photos. Excellent. Well done.

erin said...

as always a very informative post and the photographs excellent. enjoyed reading so much.

Glennis said...

What a great day, enjoyed by many birds and people. Nice to be able to release some birds back to the wild.

Amanda Guthrie said...

Great story, that little Cinnamon is a beauty and Otus is a gorgeous Owl.

Regina said...

Nice post really.

The Explorer said...

I felt I was with you with this event. It is very informative. I really thank you for this entry in My World.