Monday, September 04, 2006

End of a busy weekend

Isn't Labor Day weekend supposed to let you relax, put your feet up, maybe shoot off some fireworks? Not for me. I spent a good portion of the past few days doing the RAPTOR thing. Farbach-Werner park was the scene today. David helped out the first two hours and then I took over. The birds that were there:
Peregrine Falcon (Lucy)
American Kestrel (Steel)
Male Red-tailed Hawk (Two Socks)
Red-morph Eastern Screech Owl (NO name)


I could never get enough pictures of Lucy. She does such a great job at programs and she is a fine specimen of her species. (The little bird on the big perch is the kestrel.)

Does a screech owl ever NOT look pissed off?

His new feathers are finally in, but they are still sheathed, so he looks like he's had a real bad bowl cut. (This is a weirdly angled picture...he is looking over his right shoulder)

I received my first RAPTOR boo boo today. Two Socks the red-tailed hawk is a bit feisty, having been used sporadically for programs. He bates a lot and he ALWAYS bates when being put into or removed from his carrier. As I was taking him back to his mew, he bated like crazy and got just enough of his jesses loose to get his talons on my arm below the glove.

OUCH.

I used a few very colorful metaphors but kept him in my hand and finally got him into his mew and released.

It's not deep, but it's long and jagged, like a cut from a serrated knife. It won't be my last, I'm sure, but I hope they are rare occurrences.

I get a breather this week as far as RAPTOR is concerned, with my next program on Friday.

And the girls start back to school next week!

***Susan is doing the Snoopy dance***

9 comments:

Dave said...

Get use to the owies Susan. My wife Ruth got taloned by the Northern Goshawk about a year ago and it was an ER trip. Antibiotics and everything. The birds don't mean it. They get spooked sometimes. I've been pretty lucky so far (knock on wood). Have a good weeks rest.

LauraHinNJ said...

I bet a gos can do serious damage, Dave! Youch.

Rather than baptism by fire, you have baptism by talons - all part of the learning process Susan?

;-)

I heard a screech owl calling from the cemetary across the street for the first time in ages last week. Love hearing them! The GH owls call forever, but the screeches call just for a minute or two - wonder why that is. Anyone know?

LauraHinNJ said...

BTW: What will you do with yourself when the girls go back to school?

Bet you'll be bored.

;-)

Susan Gets Native said...

Dave:
This particular hawk is new to the program thing and it was just dumb luck that he pulled his jesses that little tiny bit. And he does something else I noticed today. When he bates while being loaded, he usually ends on the ground and when I try to slide my hand along the tether to get the jesses, he jumps...to either (1) get back onto my hand or (2) to attack. I would like to think it's the former.
Laura:
I have been baptised by vulture vomit, and now hawk talons. What's next? Maybe the great horned owl will rip out a chunk of my hair affectionately?
And I will not be bored...I have a huge box of bonbons ready and plan on laying around and watching soaps.
NOT.
:-)

Still Helpful said...

Hmm, I think my approach to the attack of Two Socks would be to heat up the oven while checking to see what wine would go with a Red-tailed Hawk fondue. Perhaps a nice Chateau Boone's Farm burgundy.

NatureWoman said...

Sorry to read about your boo boo - I hope they are rare occurrences - and I hope it heals quick for you.
I love the photos you take of your birds!

MojoMan said...

Sorry about your wound, but at least it was aquired while doing good works. Perhaps it gives you some insight into what a mouse or rabbit feels when the hawk attacks in earnest!

Anonymous said...

Susan,
We were away for the last few days, so I was catching up on reading some of my favorite blogs (your's included) and laughed out loud at your comeback to your husband's suggestion regarding current events from August 31st. As you, and Julie Zickefoose, show, the day's events with your family are current and relevant! (and often presented with a bit of humor as well). Thanks for the blog. (BTW, your husbands's blog is pretty great, too).
Heather
Wayne, PA

Endment said...

Hope you soon recover from the "booboo"
The photos are great thanks