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.
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).