Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Raptor Release

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year to go out and take nature pics. I love it when the weather gets a bit cooler, the landscapes fill with the color of leaves turning, birds stop by on their way south and all of the animals start preparing for winter.
There are also a lot of events going on through out the fall, this weekend it was The Raptor Center's big fall raptor release. The release was held at Carpenter Nature Center, where I also volunteer from time to time, so I went over Friday after work to help with the set up.
Unfortunately it rained most of the day Friday which really set us back on getting things set up. Since we could not do some of the set up, due to the rain, I spent most of my time printing up posters and signs. We were all a bit worried since the weather forecast had Saturday listed as pretty much the same as Friday. I was especially worried because we were using my sound system which I definitely did not want sitting outside in the rain.
As it turned out there was nothing to worry about. Saturday started out a bit foggy but by the time the release started the weather was almost perfect. After putting up directional signs and then setting up the sound system I took my place in the hawk and falcon ring. The education hawks and falcons that we had at the event were two American kestrels, Cinnamon and Jack, two peregrine falcons, Juneau and Artemis, a merlin falcon, Taiga, two red-tailed hawks, Alula and Casper, and a broad-winged hawk, Kettle. Cinnamon, Juneau, Casper and Taiga are picture above.
In the afternoon I did do a short stint over at the owl ring, they were a bit short handed so I went over to help out. The owls that we brought to the event included two great horned owls, Samantha and Lois, a barred owl, Odie, and two eastern screech owls. One of the screech owls was Otus the other one, pictured above with Gail the Education Director, is a new education bird and it does not yet have a name. The Raptor Center is looking for help in naming this cute little guy so during the event we were taking suggestions from people attending the release. If you have a suggestion for a good name for him you can submit it at The Raptor Center's website.
The highlight of the event were the releases. We had two releases on Saturday with three birds released each time. At the 11:30 release we released two broadwinged hawks and a red-tail. In the afternoon we release a red-shouldered hawk, a broad-winged hawk and a red-tailed hawk.
The people who had the great privilege of releasing a bird were chosen by The Raptor Center, Carpenter Nature Center, or 3M, who sponsored the event. They were chosen in recognition of their involvement with supporting great causes like The Raptor Center and Carpenter Nature Center.
It was a great day and a terrific event. I had a lot of fun talking to people about raptors and watching six birds fly free into the open blue skies, birds that would have died had it not been for a lot of people who cared, all of the staff and volunteers at The Raptor Center and Carpenter Nature Center plus all of the wonderful people who support these great causes.

12 comments:

Carver said...

Your photographs and post are so well done. I love the joy in the people's face as they release the beautiful birds in some of these photos.

Stine said...

What a cool event! And what a teat to get so close to the birds. Your photos are wonderful.

Jedediah said...

That looks like a lot of fun! Gorgeous birds.

Valerie said...

My heart just leaps at the look of those birds. So powerful, so majestic, they are just amazing!
Beautiful pictures!

Jack and Joann said...

Well done. Great post. And yes the birds are amazing to watch soar.

eileeninmd said...

The hawks are amazing creatures, thanks for sharing your part of the world. Wonderful photos.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

EB: That was quite the release photos, nicely shown.

Island Rambles Blog said...

I enjoy your posts and your pictures are so lovely...nice to read about the Raptor centre and the releases...cheers.

Ann said...

Your photos remind me of the Sinagpore bird park. We used to go there almost every week as we had an annual past.

Lawstude said...

amazing bird shots. thanks for sharing.

Arija said...

As always, superb to see the releases.

sweet bay said...

Great post! I especially like the shot of the Screech Owl and the releases. Wonderful to see.