Helen is sure to become one of my regular program birds. One, she needs the exercise! And two, she is so much easier to handle than our other two Red-tailed HELLIONS, Two Socks and Scarlet.
We were so lucky to be at RAPTOR this morning, because Jeff brought in an injured red-tailed hawk that had been hit by a car. Here, Marilyn examines the bird as Jeff holds. The exam showed a cracked cere (that part of the beak around the nostrils) and maybe a concussion. And Jeff taught us a few things about determining the age of a bird: He pointed out the tail feathers, which were all red. If this bird had been hatched in 2006, the tail would be all brown. If the bird had been hatched in 2005, there would be no "old" red feathers, as this one has. So she is at least 2 years old. A "haggard" bird, instead of a "passage" bird.
Katherine, Jeff's daughter, looks on as her Daddy manhandles the scared, hurt birdie. This guy has forgotten more than I will ever learn about birds of prey. And he is fearless. He handles the birds like his hands are made of steel. I'm surprised he was wearing gloves today!