Friday, November 10, 2006

Getting to know Helen

I actually had a day off from programs, so I took the girls to RAPTOR so that I could "play" with Helen. I held her on my glove as long as I could, which was about 3 minutes (she is so heavy!) and then perched her out. That's basically sticking a perch in the ground, letting the bird sit on it, and tethering the lead to the perch so they can't fly away.

Isn't she pretty? I had more time today to feel her out. Since she has very limited vision, she's not likely to bate, but I think she is used to more jess than I am comfortable giving her. I usually keep the larger birds on a "tight leash", especially the red-taileds, but she really wanted more room to move about. Maybe I need a longer glove when I take her out, one that goes up to my elbow. I love how her tail mimics the leaves...
This is not a zoomed in shot. Since she can't see well, I felt pretty comfortable walking up to her.
She has a sweeter expression than our other red-taileds. Like she is having a rather pleasant thought at this moment.
This is the only shot I got of her today where she "looks" blind. But her cataracts aren't visible, at least to me.


11 comments:

The Swami said...

The Swami has probably forgotten to mention that by looking very closely into an animals eyes he is able to tell what the little beasties are thinking.

When I look closely at the third and the last photos, Swami can tell that Helen is thinking,"Oh look, I think I see lunch."

Those are super photos.

LauraHinNJ said...

Beautiful pics of a beautiful hawk. God I love red-tails.

Shannon said...

She has such a sweet face!!

Susan Gets Native said...

Swami:
She was looking at your granddaughters at the time.
Ha!
Laura:
I love 'em, too. It's nice to get so close to one, since I usually see them on the highway going about 70 mph. They have such intricate barring and streaking that you can't really appreciate unless you are close.
Shannon:
She does, doesn't she? Even if I didn't know she was 22 years old, I would say she has an old soul.

Mary said...

I'm amazed you can get so close. She's beautiful and does have a gentle look about her.

NatureWoman said...

Helen is sooo beautiful! Thanks for sharing her with us (I'm so happy your camera is working for you now).

beth said...

I am not a birder. But I keep coming back to these bird-people blogs over and over and over...and now I find myself completely captivated by this 'Helen' creature....

Wonderful, thought-provoking photos...

Dave said...

Excellent pic's Susan. I also have to build up my left arm. I do recommend a full length glove. I wish Helen could tell us her story. What a gorgeous bird.

Endment said...

Really great post Susan
Love these red-tail pictures

Anonymous said...

Helen is beautiful. You are so very lucky to be able to be so near and to know these birds. And WE are lucky that you share the experiences with us. You let us see through your eyes.

Thank you Susan!

(Earl...)

word verification: fugznz!

Susan Gets Native said...

Mary:
She is pretty gentle, but I have to make sure that I don't take her gentleness for granted, or I might get hurt!
Pam:
I'm glad too. But now I have a new one!
Beth:
Thanks for stopping by. I am intrigued by her, too. She's pretty wonderful. Can't wait to start using her in programs.
Dave:
Yep, I better get me a looong glove. I never realized how long an RT's legs were until I held one!
Endment:
Thank you, thank you!
Lynne:
Yeah, yeah...I will get some more photos of Earl. If I must.