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