Posted by: silverstar98121 | April 30, 2008

Raptor Rapture

The Boyo (my boyfriend) and I went to the Woodland Park Zoo on Sunday, and it was a very birdy day. We wanted to go to the north end of the zoo, because we hadn’t been there for a while. We especially wanted to hit the Raptor Center during the lecture they give, and while the birds were out. Unfortunately, there were no eagles out that day, but they did have some of the smaller raptors out. For instance, there was this guy.Gyrfalcon He’s a gyrfalcon, (right)the largest of the falcons. These bad boys live on the Arctic coasts of America, Asia, and Europe. They look like they are big enough to bring down a polar bear. These guys are fast. The bird was flying after a lure the trainer was swinging around on a rope. I was shooting 2.5 frames a second and never got a hint of the bird in about 100 frames. But that bird was huffing and puffing when it landed.

Closer to home we have the peregrine falcon. (left) Peregrines are the most widespread bird of prey on earth. About the only place they don’t show up is the polar regions, tropical rain forests, and New Zealand. They have been known to nest in cities, and those of you who hate pigeon poop will be grateful to them, because they eat other birds. We watched one of the trainers lure the peregrine with a lure that looked like a flying bird. Suddenly there was this streak, and the lure was down on the ground.

Another bird we saw was a spectacled owl. (right) This bird is from the tropical rain forests, so I think somebodySpectacled Owl should have told him he was in the temperate rain forest. Maybe that is why he was unsociable and wouldn’t turn toward the audience. It might also be because they are nocturnal, and he doesn’t like to get up during his sleep time either. Maybe that was why he kept saying “boo, boo, boo.

Also out, but not flying was a Harris Hawk. (left) This large bird is from south Texas, but I guess we won’t hold that against him. He has to survive in some pretty harsh territory down Harris Hawkthere. These hawks tend to hang out with each other more than most other raptors. And if you want to see some really good photos of the bird, click on the link, and take a gander at the photos there. Much better than my poor offering, but on the other hand, I didn’t have a wild bird in its own territory to work with.

Well I guess that’s enough for today. Perhaps tomorrow I will continue blogging my zoo visit.

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