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Wildlife Recovery

March 12, 2007

(note: edited to correct name)
Last weekend we saw a raptor presentation of the Wildlife Recovery Association. This is Joe Rogers with an eagle unable to return to the wild. (Joe is fully licensed — y’all know we unlicensed masses can’t keep even a single feather from an endangered bird, right?) Those are some really serious talons.

While the eagle was the showstopper because of his size and striking appearance, I was most taken with the owls. We saw a variety of species and learned their calls, habitat, and food preferences. (I didn’t take photos, except one of the eagle, because I was busy watching the birds! Sorry about that.)

Joe had several little tricks to demonstrate aspects of the birds. With the great horned owl, he very carefully poked a pencil through its neck feathers from front to back. It looked like the bird had been stabbed right through its neck — but as he explained, the neck is actually very small, and all that bulk is feathers. “Bet you didn’t know an owl makes a great pencil holder!” he joked.

Joe held one of the hawks fairly close to an audience member, and it stared the person right in the eyes. “They do that right before they attack,” he said. After a pause, he added, “And basically all the time.”

Perhaps the most impressive part of the demonstration was when he gently bounced a hawk on his arm to and fro, up and down. The bird’s body moved with his arm, but its head remained absolutely still. It was eerie, and beautiful. This, he explained, is how a raptor can focus on its prey while sitting in a wind-blown tree — something I’d never even thought about.

On a different note (literally), I heard the call of sandhill cranes this morning — the first of the spring. Driving home this morning, I saw three of them in a field. Spring must be coming after all.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2007 6:18 pm

    this sounds very, very cool…Schecky and I are huge fans of the birds of prey…

  2. March 13, 2007 8:21 am

    Bob is awesome! He actually scared *me* with that hawk joke … and you were just retelling it. 🙂

  3. March 24, 2007 12:41 pm

    Hey!! Thanks for visiting my blog from Amy’s. 🙂 The first time I read your entry I thought it read “it stabbed the person right in the eyes.” lol, I was like what!! That’s crazy!! Then I read it again and the world made better sense. 🙂

  4. January 3, 2008 11:24 am

    His name is Joe Rogers, His wife is Barb. You are not the only one that has mixed the names, it happens quite a bit. Thanks for the publicty, and I hope you come to more programs and are you a member ($10 a year)? Check out the website at

  5. January 3, 2008 12:06 pm

    Sorry about the error — I’ve corrected it in the post.Many thanks for all the excellent work you do! I will most certainly visit the website and become a member.

  6. January 4, 2008 8:32 am

    Thanks for being so prompt with correcting the name! I also have a corection: the web site is I spelled it incorectly the first time. Keep up the good work!

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