Saturday, April 28, 2007

My life is Cereal

Update on the great horned owl I picked up the day before Easter:
He is most likely going to be a program bird for someone.
As you can see from the photo, his right pupil is completely opaque:

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But Cindy and Marc tell me that he is very gentle and sweet, so if he becomes a bird used for education, I think he will be perfect.

And now, a picture of Susan, surprised:

Dove on my head
Euro (Thanks, Julie, for that name suggestion) is let out of his cage for about an hour a day, and last night, he landed on my head. I've said it before, and I will say it again...he is one sweet, cool bird. A very nice companion as I sit here every night...even his poop is polite.
Don't I look like a psycho?

Some rehab birds at RAPTOR:
Elvis and BO07-02
On the right is Elvis, our program barred owl.
On the left is BO07-02. This is one tough owl...
He was hit by a tractor trailer, and 5 miles later, the truck driver got out and discovered the owl stuck to the grill! And he lived through it. That just rocks.
And the size difference cracks me up. We never realized how HUGE Elvis is. He's twice as fluffy as the other one! But don't let it fool you into thinking that it's muscle. Barred owls are all feather. Get them wet and they look like a cat who's just took a shower.
The three amigos
The Three Amigos:
The GHOW I picked up is on the left. In the middle is a GHOW whose wing was pinned, and the vet has not been able to pull them out. No idea as to how they are going to handle that. I forget what injury the one on the right has.
And check out the size difference here! They are all adults. "My" GHOW is a male, and the other two are females. When I talk about reverse sexual dimorphism in my educational programs, I wish I was able to hold two birds at once, to show just how much bigger females are compared to males. The difference can be more than 25%...that's a big deal if you are talking about some of the larger species, like red-tailed hawks or eagles.
That means the female is the boss. And it also allows the birds to exploit a wider array of prey...the smaller, faster males can go after agile prey, while the females can take down larger prey.
But an interesting fact is that species feeding on carrion, like turkey vultures, show no sexual dimorphism. Their food is already dead, so it's not like they need to sneak up or run it down.
Okay, enough of my lesson.

Bird fence
I officially love these people. On the road leading into Governor Bebb Preserve, on the way to a program, this fence made me stop the car. They had about 30 bird species carved from wood, painted and perched on their fence.
Bird People!
Rainbow 2
Friday we had four-leaf clovers, and today, a rainbow.

I am living in a box of Lucky Charms.

9 comments:

Mary said...

I saw that Dove on your head on Flickr and was hoping you'd post it! I imagine your house as being a laugh a minute, chaotic, loving, and so comfortable. A place I'd like to visit. Anyone who allows a dove on their head is my kind of person!

I was proud that I knew exactly what GHOW is...and that I knew female raptors are larger and rule the roost.

Keep teachin' us. You Lucky Charm, you!

Liza Lee Miller said...

Cool pics, Susan! And, I love that I usually learn something when I read your blog! You rock!

Dave said...

Love that fence line!

Jayne said...

Looks like Euro has taken to you all well. Thanks for sharing info about all the owls. Love the birds on the fence posts too! And a rainbow... what a nice way to end a perfect day!

NatureWoman said...

Lucky Charms - they're magically delicious!! I love the dove on your head photo - that's too cool! And all of the bewds, both live and wooden - very cool!

vicki said...

You DO lead a charmed existence. These owl posts just tip me over-they are my most favorite birds. Well, maybe I like Hannibal specifically, but owls rock. The three amigos photo is, ah, a hoot. That fence? Wonder how much that would cost to have done. Very very nice.

So- I just posted a picture for you at my place- after your saucy comment the other day. Life just gets better and better...

mon@rch said...

I love the title of this post and thanks for the update on the birds! it is sad they have to go through all this but they will be taken care of for sure! Congrats on the Rainbow!

Anonymous said...

Doves are good raptor food.

Susan Gets Native said...

Anonymous:
Spoken like a true raptor-lover. I bet I can guess who you are!