Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day...full of labor

The Labor Day weekend is finally over. I thought you were supposed to rest on Labor Day?

I did two 4-hour programs this weekend and have also sweated out all of my body fluids. The weather in Cincinnati has been low on humidity but high on heat. I have been guzzling water like it's going out of style.

This was Storm's first foray into outdoor programs, and he did very well. A bit jumpy, but it's no more than I expected.

Storm at Farbach Werner
He was a popular draw at the programs, and he stopped everyone in their tracks when he screamed.

He was also very interested in Curly, a black vulture belonging to the Hamilton County Parks:
Curly and Storm
Most of the time, they were at the absolute ends of their tethers, attempting to get closer. I frankly don't know what would happen if the two were allowed to meet, but it probably wouldn't be pretty. I think Curly, being an inquisitive vulture, most likely would just like to investigate. Storm on the other hand, would probably have beaten the crap out of him.

Steel, our male American Kestrel, was very good. Scary good...he's usually so spazzy, I have to put him back in his carrier for breaks, but not today.
Steel at Farbach werner park
It's a shame really, how people will say, "Oh, how cute" to the little birds like the kestrel and screech owls, then move on immediately to the bigger birds. Kestrels are interesting, man!

Lucy, my lovely, did great as usual. I fed her while she was perched out (Sundays are a fasting day for our birds, so when Monday comes around, they are ready to eat!) and she sucked it down quick.
A day-old chick was the fare today. Day-old chicks still have a yolk sac in their abdomens, and when Lucy bit into it, the yolk went everywhere! It was so gross and so fun!

She was so ready to eat, she even swallowed the feet:
There goes the foot!
There they go!

Remember Rufous (our red screech owl) and his yearly Ugly-Molt?
Well, the Park's SO was feeling it too.
Want to see an owl's ear opening?

close up screech owls ear opening
The ear is teardrop-shaped, and usually hidden under thick feathers. Man, I'm so glad I am not a screech owl. Losing my locks every summer? No thanks.

A photographer and videographer from the Cincinnati Enquirer were there to gather some news. They took pictures and video of Storm screaming. I hope they put it on their will be throwing old ladies from their chairs across the region!
(Photo by Malinda Hartong)

I need to get some more water.


RuthieJ said...

Great story Susan. I'm glad you got to share your raptors with folks who didn't have to work on Labor Day (even though you did).
That last picture of you and Storm is great--you look good in blue! Did you make that necklace?

Susan Gets Native said...

Thanks, Ruthie. And yes, I made that necklace...I don't buy jewelry anymore. If I want something specific, I just sit down and make it.
(that photo was NOT showing the sweat pooling in my cleavage and down my back into my drillies.)
: )

Lynne said...

Ruthie's right- that's a terrific picture of you working with Storm. Speaking of jewelry, when I wore the earrings you made for me for the first time, Art said "pretty earrings!". I'm telling you, Art NEVER notices things like jewelry so that was high praise!! I love 'em too.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful picture of you and Storm. It shows the growing relationship of trust the two of you have -- they are all lucky birds to be handled by you. Wish we lived in Ohio so we could come see you and the birds. I'd ask lots of questions!

Wayne, PA

Kyle said...

Wow, beautiful pictures of some magnificent raptors. I can't imagine passing up the chance to see kestrels and owls up close!

I can't wait to show the video of Storm to the kids tonight. They've never heard a barn owl scream. :)

Kathiesbirds said...

Susan, artistically speaking, kestrals are one of the prettiest birds around. I love their colors and they are so interesting, especially when they kite. Never saw an owl's ear opening before. Thnaks for showing me that. As for feeding the baby chick? Gross!