Monday, January 07, 2008

Random Raptor Research and What happens when you add weird things to the gene pool


I have been researching birds of prey from around the world, brushing up on birds that none of us will ever see, but that are worthy of ultimate respect anyway.

While reading about harpy eagles, I found this picture of talons from different types of raptors:

Talons of (left > right): Harpy Eagle, Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle,
Great Horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, & Peregrine Falcon
(Photo source: Gary Ritchison, Eastern Kentucky University)

Now, let's just look at that for a minute.
The third one from the right is from a great horned owl.
The one on the left is from a harpy eagle. They can get to 13cm in length (5 inches). That's as long as the claws of a grizzly bear. I mean, Holy Crap.

Here's a picture of our GHO...
show us your hooters
Look at the size of the talons compared to my thumb. They are wicked-long...about 2 inches.
But compared to a harpy eagle, they are baby fingernails. That is so wild. See why I deal with birds of prey?
Looking at the harpy's talons, I think that I should stop being nervous around Isis and Scarlet.
It's not like they are HARPY EAGLES.



And for your viewing pleasure, a few photos sent to me by my buddy, Colleen:
An EagleDog.




And.....
A BunOwl.

As Marc at RAPTOR would say, "That is just wrong."


By the way...I came up with a New Year's resolution (a little late, I know)...
To answer people's comments in the comment section. I will. I promise to try.

*Geoff is thinking right now, "That's fine and good, honey, but could you make a resolution to keep me in clean socks and underwear?"

12 comments:

Trixie said...

The bunowl is hilarious. The Deagle reminds me of Buckbeak.

Mary said...

Buckbeak! LOL! It is just WRONG.

Replying to comments: always on my to-do list of things that rarely get done. I blame it on being busy but it doesn't make it right. I should try harder.

dguzman said...

Buckbeak! Er, I mean Witherwings!

That bunowl is so cute. And those claws are scary--reminds me of the fossilized raptor claw that Alan Grant has in Jurassic Park. Eek!

ncmountainwoman said...

The picture of the various talons is absolutely spectacular. Certainly gives us an appreciation of the various raptors. Thanks.

KatDoc said...

Whoa - that Harpy Eagle talon is amazing! Makes even a Bald Eagle look like a wimp.

Since you are going to answer questions in your comment section, I have one. Is it true that Harpy Eagles tear out their talons and rip off their beaks and then sit around on a mountain top for 5 months, contemplating the state of the Universe while regrowing their amputated body parts?

I read in on the Internet, so I thought it must be true.

~Kathi, ducking and running away from Susan, who is throwing things at her for asking such an obnoxious "question"

RuthieJ said...

I think that Bunowl is pretty cute too, wrong maybe, but cute.
(Now I wonder is that where rabbit head goes after the great horned owl leaves a headless cottontail in my backyard?)

egretsnest said...

I don't know what's funnier -- the Bunowl or the question from KatDoc. But, I do know that I don't want to meet a Harpy Eagle in a dark alley late at night. Nooooo thank you! :)

Trixie said...

Harpy Eagle....I wonder if that is an appropriate name? Hmmmmm....

Susan Gets Native said...

*Lobbing a chair in Kathi's general direction*

Dave said...

Yup, Bunowl gets my vote. Don't worry about answering my comments. Women have ignoring me for years. :)

Mike said...

I wonder what kind of talons that adorable Bunowl is sporting...

Good stuff, Susan!

Kathie said...

I saw a harpy eagle on some PBS show snatch a sloth right out of a tree. It took my breath away and made me glad they don't live here! What a powerful bird! My son and I constructed one of posterboard for a class he had in gradeschool. It was awesome to draw the thing, color it, then cut it out and suspend it from wire in the classroom. BTW, I like Bunowl the best. He's awefully cute!