A visit to the local raptor center

My son and I had a great day yesterday. We are fortunate to have a local Raptor Center in our town, and so yesterday I decided to pay it a visit.  It had been a long time since we had gone there.
A couple of years before Bode was born I volunteered there for about 4 hours a week for a year. It was a pretty incredible experience, which I remember with fondness. It is always so nice to be back there again in the presence of all those grand birds.
Bald Eagle

Spotted owl
We enjoyed walking around and stopping at each cage. I read the stories out loud about why the birds came to be at the center - many got hit by cars, a few had congenital defects and were abandoned when young, and some fell from their nests. We greeted them saying their names that we learned from the placard - Hermione, Tristan, Luna, Shenoa, etc.
After our walk we gathered in the pavilion to hear a talk about the center and the birds.

What we learned:
  • Birds that live at the raptor center are there because they cannot survive in the wild due a birth defect or an injury.
  • Raptors are different from other birds because they hunt, kill and eat small animals such as birds, mice, lizards, snakes, etc.
  • Raptors are exceptional hunters because of their keen eyesight. If a raptor was at one end of a football field and someone was holding a newspaper at the other end of the field, a raptor would be able to see the individual letters printed on the newspaper. 
  • Raptors eat their prey whole, bones and all. 
  • They are different from other birds of prey because they catch their prey with their talons, while non-raptors that hunt and eat live animals kill their prey with their beaks.
  • There are 7 different kinds of raptors: Eagles, hawks, owls, kites, ospreys, vultures, & falcons. Turkey vultures are kind of an anomaly to the group because they are not really birds of prey, and only feed on dead animals.
  • The peregrine falcon is one of the fastest birds on Earth. When it is diving for prey it can reach speeds up to 243 mph. 
  • Crows that are human imprints can mimic human voices. 
  • Kites are loud. (This is the 1st answer that Bode said when asked what he learned today).

After our visit today I dug up these super cool posters that identify different birds and put them up on Bode's wall. I got them for a song at a yard sale a couple years ago (like a buck a piece). They were going for $20 at the center today. I love that!

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1 comment:

  1. i love taking the boys there too! wn parked on dillard and hiked over the ridgeline trail to get there, so beautiful! we should do it together soon. p.s. LOVE the yoda quote :)


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