Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Another 100 mile day...but worth it.

About three weeks ago, a volunteer just learning bird handling went in to help me load up Lucy. The volunteer moved too fast and too close and spooked the hell out of Lucy, and Lucy laid into her. See? Even sweet Lucy can hurt ya if you overstep your boundries.
Anyway, since that day, I haven't been able to get Lucy on my glove. She usually just steps right up and off you go. But she has been shy, actually flying away from me, etc.
I didn't want to have to force her and really ruin her.
But today, I was determined to take her along on a program, so I took lots of extra time with her. I stood there for about 5 minutes, talking to her and g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y bringing my glove closer and closer. It was so precious: She has such a wonderful expression...trusting, yet nervous. When I was confident that it would be okay, I picked up a jess and just held it. And up she stepped. She just needed me to make the first move, calmly and slowly.
I won't lie to ya, I got tears in my eyes a little when she did that. To have a wild animal trust you enough to come back after a scare...
Why the tears? Maybe I was just tired.
Or maybe I am, for all my bravado, a big softie.
Lucy and vulture puppet. Who in the heck put this in there! It startles me every time I open the barn door. It used to be on the desk, but now it's right inside the door! Ack!
I'm so glad I am back in your good graces, Lucy girl.
My program today was at an elementary school in Avondale, a suburb of Cincinnati. It's an inner city sort of school, and the group I spoke to was the "Gentlemen's Club", an after-school club for young boys. And they were the most behaved group of kids I have presented to YET.
The program was in a large, noisy cafeteria, with a total of about 100 kids. They had a microphone, which only worked half the time, so my voice is rather "butterscotchy".

Our cute little gray screech owl. She doesn't have a name. And the red one doesn't either, for that matter.

We could have a naming contest. Hmm...what do I have to offer as a prize?


"I am not amused."

Yeah, no kidding. Can anyone honestly say that they have seen a HAPPY owl?

They seem to have two emotions:

Startled

and

Disgusted.

8 comments:

Dave said...

I believe you are a softie. Good job with Lucy. It's all got to do with a little patience.

LauraHinNJ said...

I think you have to add Sleepy to that list.

Aren't peregrines supposed to be all fierce and hostile?

Please get your hands on "Equinox" by Dan O'Brien - if you don't mind the falconry bent - it's a great book and he writes about a peregrine named Lucy.

Anonymous said...

That last picture of your little gray screech owl gives Cinnamon a run for her money on disapproval!

Where's Earl the Pearl? I love turkey vultures! Picture pleeease????

Susan Gets Native said...

Laura:
Yes, Sleepy is one more emotion. That makes 3!
I will definitely get that book. Peregrines may be fierce, but Lucy's a sweetie.
Lynne:
I was thinking of getting some good owl photos for Sharon's "Disapproval" contest. I think they could give Cinnamon some competition.
Okay, Okay...I will get some photos of Earl. Damn bird.
;)

NatureWoman said...

Congrats on getting Lucy to trust again! You're a softie in a good way. Oh my, you did a *great* job capturing both of the owl emotions!

Mary said...

Susan, I don't think I've seen owls so beautiful (or close-up, for that matter!). It blows me away, the skill you have and your tenderness for Lucy.

Rondeau Ric said...

Owls are like joggers. They never look happy.

The Swami said...

Maybe I skimmed over your post too quickly. Is that Earl on top of the refrigerator? It looks like he has been drinking.