Sunday, May 6, 2007

Raptor release

Saturday, May 5th I attended a raptor release by the Raptor Center at the Carpenter Nature Center. This was my first visit to the Carpenter Nature Center and I was very impressed. The center is situated on the bluffs above the St Croix River just across the river from Prescott Wisconsin. There were plenty of raptors, mostly vultures, flying over head as we listened to an environmental musician sing. Unfortunately the weather was not really that great with dark cloudy skies so most of my pictures of overhead raptors were pretty dark.

As usual the Raptor Center had plenty of educational birds for participants to view. These are birds that can not be released back into the wild and so they are used in educational programs around the country. The birds below are educational birds.
The american kestrel, sometimes called sparrow hawk, is the smallest raptor. The bald eagle is the symbol of the US. It is currently under consideration for being removed from the endangered species list due to it's remarkable recovery from near extinction. Minnesota has now passed Florida for the most nesting pair of eagles in the lower 48 states.
The peregrine falcon is the fastest animal on the planet. This peregrine is named Juneau and it is the bird that I chose for my wife and I to sponsor this year.
The highlight of the day were the bird releases. Four birds were released back into the wild, two red tail hawks, one broad wing hawk, and for the finally a bald eagle, pictured above. The Raptor Center does great work. Each year we contribute to this great cause. I would encourage you to check out their website.

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