Saturday, August 05, 2006

We have nothing to fear but fear itself...

I spent the morning at RAPTOR to work more with some of the larger birds.
Isis isn't quite as ready as they would like her to be, but hopefully her and I can be a great team.
She's just so beautiful, I want to pet and stroke her. But I like my fingers.

An injured first-year Peregrine Falcon was placed in Lucy's mew today. It was fun and interesting to watch the bird hierarchy play out. Lucy (in the photo, she's the one on the top perch) ended up on a lower perch with the new falcon on LUCY'S perch. Lucy was moved to another mew because the new falcon was flying up to the ceiling and it is not desirable for her to break any feathers up there. She will have the mew to herself for now.

Two Socks, a male red-tailed hawk. He's big and awesome; a little bit skittish during transitions (i.e. walking through doors, etc.) Scarlet, his cage-mate, is a wonderful, pretty bird, with a bad rep. She footed David and now that I know that, I will be watching those feet. With a red-tailed, it's the feet you really need to worry about. Those talons are wicked.
Look at this! Earl is just sweet as can be with Marc, and any other man who goes in to get her. I did get her on my glove today (Marc called me a chicken, and that always makes me get to it and conquer my fear).
I went in alone to "play" with some of the smaller birds that I am totally comfortable with. As I said to Cindy and Marc, my cats are harder to hold that the kestrels and screech owls.

"WHAT? Don't you know that I am a fierce predator?

Hey, lady, would you mind rubbing some lotion into my jesses while you're in here?"


LauraHinNJ said...

I think I would be most scared when they start flailing around. What do you do then?

Can you talk sometime about how each of the birds ended up at Raptor?

Geoff Williams said...
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Susan Gets Native said...

When they flail?
Raise your arm and HANG ON.
I can definitely do a post about the birds' history!

LauraHinNJ said...

Really? I've seen that's what people do, but it looks to me like you should do something!

Doesn't it hurt their ankles flailing around on the end of the leash?

Susan Gets Native said...

The jesses are loosely fitted enough that they will spin around the ankle, but it's possible for the jesses to get all wound up. The birds don't bate all the time (some of the birds do it more than others) and the more they are handled, presumably the less they do it.
Some of the program birds are not able to fully fly, so when they bate, they would hang if we didn't help them back up. So it's a good idea to have the other glove handy so we can scoop them back up. Isis nailed me on the right wrist as I was assisting her back to my left hand, because I only had one glove on the right. She's powerful enough to go through a leather glove. Ouch.