Monday, July 14, 2008

There's a first time for everything

Today was the barn owl's first program. I was scheduled for a presentation at the Cincinnati Museum Center (they do a "Harry Potter" camp every summer...owls, owls, owls) and it was a perfect opportunity to try him out. A small room, mostly-behaved children.
I am happy to announce that he was great. Awesome. Better than I expected.

I asked one of the counselors to take a few photos for me. But she failed miserably.

When I brought the owls back, I set up the camera to catch the action I knew was coming. You see, the barn owl doesn't like the "second glove", i.e. the glove that sometimes is worn on the other hand, especially if the bird is a bitey-sort. Which the barn owl is. He was in rehab for months as our rehabbers tried to save his wing. They were always coming at him with both gloves on, and you can imagine that he is not a happy camper when he sees two gloves.
Anyway, I use two gloves to handle him because, while he usually holds back on the actual bite, he has landed a few.

As I wound the tether up on my left hand, he was watching my right hand like a...hawk.
And screaming.

Another first today was a new caterpillar for our yard. There's something to be said for not yanking up every single Queen Anne's Lace plant.

black swallowtail cat first instar
Credit goes to Isabelle for this find. She saw this little spiky guy and called me over. Then, I saw another one on a nearby plant (turns out that these are the same species, just different instars.

black swallowtail mad face
Black swallowtail caterpillars! This one is even showing us his osmeterium! He actually looks mad, doesn't he?


LauraHinNJ said...

Susan! He sounds insane!

(And you didn't even flinch.)

Good girl!


Lynne said...

That'll make your ears bleed! And you all the while, calmly winding the tether. He's alot smaller that I expected. Cool, cool bird.

Anonymous said...

You dazzle me, girl. My husband in the other room says, "What was THAT?" I explained and he just looked dazed. You rock.

dguzman said...

Cool 'pillars! I'll have to check my QA's Lace plants!

Mary said...

Pillars are nice but I can't get over the Screaming! You are too cool, Susan. I would have fainted from fright. I love the owls...

Dave said...

That's an awesome video. He sure doesn't like that second glove.

Joy said...

Aw, barn owls. I love them. Have you ever seen ""?? Web cam alert. The babies have fledged by now though. I watch it every year, and yes, do they scream! I love it.

RuthieJ said...

My swallowtail caterpillars also like the "nasty" wild parsnip (even better than they liked the Queen Anne's lace!)