Saturday, May 19, 2007

Raging against the dying of the light

I enjoyed my family today. It's nice when that happens. (grin)
This morning, I stopped at RAPTOR to hand over a mouse I caught in the basement. We really need our red-tailed hawk to come back. Or the red-shouldered would be nice.
The mice are cute, but they really need to stay outside. Trixie and Powder have caught a few, and one walked right up to me a few nights ago. They are different from the ones we caught last year. I better go to Lowe's and get some stuff to plug up holes on the outside of the house.
I wanted to get photos of the owls at RAPTOR.

I thought this would be a throw-away, since he wasn't looking at me, but doesn't he look grand in that sunbeam?
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This is what I wanted pictures of. (Red morph screech owl)
Owls are capable of silent flight, due to comb-like feathers on the leading edges of their wings. These combs are called fimbriae, or flutings. The fimbriae cut the air turbulence and allow the owl to fly silently. Another theory is that the fimbriae change the sound wave into a higher frequency that humans and most mammals cannot hear. Either way, owls are very good at sneaking up on prey animals who have excellent hearing.

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Owls are beautiful, even if they aren't brightly colored like a male cardinal or indigo bunting.
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Here are the fimbriae on the great horned owl. During education programs, if it is a quiet enough atmosphere, I ask the audience to be very quiet and listen to the owl's wings as I turn my hand back and forth to cause the owl to flap in order to maintain balance. The audience never hears the wings. Listen to a pigeon or dove or any other kind of bird when it takes off, and you will hear at least some sound. Owls are cool.

Geoff took the girls to Chuck E. Cheese's today, to celebrate the event of Lorelei finally being potty-trained. Halleluia!
After that, we all met up and went to see Shrek the Third.
It was hilarious, as I knew it would be.
As we were leaving the theater, I saw a kingbird hanging out near the pond between the theater and the interstate. I hear that this area is birdy and will be returning.
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Yep. That's all we need to do.
Islam, peace, men/women/Judaism, (I don't know what the "I" stands for), yin/yang, and Christianity. Can't we all just get along?
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Remember the Blasting for Hawks post?
Well, the nest closest to our house has chicks. I saw two, but as I got closer, one ducked down. This is a really bad photo, but the sun was going down and if I want a better one, I have to go back in the daytime.


NatureWoman said...

Wow - owls are really cool Susan - I didn't realize how cool - thanks for the info!
Congrats to Lorelei for being potty-trained! Yay! I can't wait to see Shrek the Third. Glad to hear it was hilarious!
Coexist - now that is one cool sign, and I agree with you Susan. Why can't we all just get along.

Lynne said...

I just heard a radio program about owls and their silent flight. YOURS WAS BETTER!! I sure would like to attend one of your programs. Potty training seems like forever ago. We're less than a year away from driver's training! Yikes!! Your first throwaway owl picture is a real keeper.

Trixie said...

That owl looks positively touched by God....I guess that's the sunbeam.

Great macros on the wing combs. So interesting.

And yay! Lorelei is POTTY TRAINED!!!

mon@rch said...

Now if those are not the cutest photos of that owl!! Love those up close photos!