Friday, March 20, 2009

Raptor Conservancy of VA Visit to Backyard Boutique

Last night we had our annual raptor event at Backyard Boutique. We had a full house, and the presentation, as always, was wonderful. Only birds with injuries that will prevent them from ever being released are shown.

The male kestral was beautiful; he's in his 3rd year, and has been at the Conservancy for 2 years, since he flew into the Capitol building and injured his shoulder and his eyes.


He's in beautiful condition; and was very vocal - Kent said his hormones were raging!

This is a hybrid falcon - probably a cross between a peregrine and a merlin....very beautiful, but very "human imprinted."

Isn't he something?


This is a 13 yo female red-tailed hawk, who has been with Kent for 12 1/2 years. As are all of these birds, she's beautiful, and in top condition.

She wasn't trying to fly; just showing off, I think. .......breath-taking!


Maybe she did decide to leave after all.

The tiny sawhet is my favorite - it's hard to remember not to try to pet her, but I think I'll just keep my fingers, thank you very much.

Wouldn't you hate to be a mouse, looking at those talons?
The eastern screech owl was very calm and quiet.

The great horned owl has an attitude problem - he was panting the entire time - I guess it was too warm for him in here. He was kept pretty close - no walking around with him!

The barred owl was extremely calm - Kent says she is the calmest he has ever worked with.
I love ruffled feathers.

23 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow Helen.... DIdn't it feel great to get some up-close-and-personal photos of those birds. I love the owls and their BIG eyes. I've always loved the colors of the Kestrals... I've never seen one!

Thanks SO much for sharing this. It's wonderful.
Hugs,
Betsy

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

All the birds look great.Too bad they were injured but on the other hand it gives people a chance for a close-up view most would never have otherwise.
Blessings,Ruth

fishing guy said...

Helen: What a neat bird show, it is so neat to see all the different hawks and owls. You captured them wonderfully.

jalynn01 said...

Beautiful presentation!! I loved all the shots but the male Kestrel just melted my heart. I guess because I have my own here I am shooting.. Great series Helen!Glad you had a good turn out.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I love seeing them. I can't believe how these creatures adapt to humans. In the wild I couldn't get within 500 feet of a red tail and yet they tolerate the crowds.
Marnie

NCmountainwoman said...

What a treat you have given us today. I love every one of those raptors.

Roy said...

They are really impressive birds Helen.

Bird Girl said...

They are all just so beautiful!!! I would love to take the Kestrel home and keep him!!! LOved the female red-tail showing off! What a nice program for your customers!!!

Denise said...

Oh what a wonderful sight that must have been Helen, to see those beautiful birds up that close. Great, great photos!!!!

Jayne said...

They are all so very lovely. How great that they can be cared for, since they can't survive in the wild, and teach people about raptors.

Ken Conger Photography said...

Great series. Sawhet is my fav. Glad all went well. Sounds like you had great attendance. Blue Skies.

Mary said...

OH, Helen...these are wonderful! How terrific to get to see them up close like that, although I know that means they are injured in some way. Such a variety! I am so used to seeing them at such a distance, that getting to see their details up close like this is wonderful. Those owls are great and such big eyes :-)

T and S said...

WOW...beautiful series of images. You have shot the American Kestrel and coincidentally my latest post is that of the Common Kestrel. They looks very similar except for the plumage colors. Lovely.

Abe said...

These are all beautiful animals and the talons are fierce. I really like this post and pictures.

John Theberge said...

The raptors are very interesting birds. Wish I would've been there to check them all out.

Shellmo said...

It must've been so wonderful to be close to these beautiful birds! I so enjoyed these photos! I would've been tempted to pet one of them too.....

kjpweb said...

Wonderful! So you've been to Merrit Island, huh? Maybe we did see each other and didn't even know it - for I've been up there 6 or 7 times this year already! Next time you must drop me a note! :)
Cheers, Klaus

Dave Coulter said...

I like those little owls...I keep hoping to see one in the field someday :)

Marsha said...

I wish you were local - I would have loved to come to your store and visit these beauties!

Amazing aren't they?

Natural Moments said...

I think the sawhet owls are the cutest things too. Such huge and beautiful eyes for a little bird.

Stacey Huston said...

Helen .How very beautiful thanks for sharing!

Willard said...

A very interesting post and excellent photographs!

Ginnymo said...

I love all your photos!! I love watching all the little critters outside my windows and do get some good shots at times. How neat to be able to touch them like you do.