Susan Williams, Director of Education, extended this invitation to visit and I was not going to pass this one up. I knew Lucas would dig it too. We were not meeting Susan until noon so with time to kill, Lucas and I spent the morning looking at the RAPTOR website and talking about the birds and what it means to be a "bird of prey". When we arrived at RAPTOR, Lucas's little sponge like brain was full of all kinds of facts, names, and questions for Susan.
Susan had just gotten back from a program and had three birds to put away. The first bird was "Angel" a really cool little 'gray phased' Screech Owl (EASO).
Then she brought out an EASO owlet. This little guy (or gal) was full of piss and vinegar!
The second bird was the one I was SO looking forward to seeing. The fastest animal on the planet Earth. "Lucy" The Peregrine Falcon. She was absolutely stunning.
The third bird was the Biggest and just a Bad Ass! Sylvester the Great Horned Owl.
He was a little grumpy and would not take his eyes off me as you can see in this picture.
Lucas was impressed at how Sylvester could almost turn his head all the way around. I was impressed by those feet and of course the talons. This is a powerful bird. I know it's no Harpy Eagle but he's still a force to be respected.
You better keep fluffy in the house when this guy is in the neighborhood.
After the birds were put away and everyone was happy we walked around and saw the rest of the facility and some more birds.
A personal favorite of mine "Steel" the American Kestrel.
"Isis" the 'WHITE' Red-tailed Hawk, Lucas's favorite.
Check out her 'groovy' blue eyes. She was shot by two boys in Bethel. Wonder what they were thinking? Probably went something like this: "Hey Joe-Bob did you see the size of that chicken"?
There was "Priscilla" the Barred Owl. These birds rock. If you ever go camping and hear monkeys laughing in the night woods, its a Barred. They have the coolest calls.
A few more highlights of the day included:
The raptor cafeteria....
The freezers full of Rat Popsicles....
The young Turkey Vulture in "time out"......
The last covered bridge in Hamilton County, Ohio.... over a beautiful creek.
A delicate flower.....
could be an exotic for all I know, I just thought it was cool.
A great bumper sticker......
and a woman's perfume to overpower the smell of bat poop and birds of prey on a humid 85 degree day.....