Monday, March 05, 2012
This weekend, we drove to my parents' home in Pella, Iowa for a visit and to attend the 24th Annual Bald Eagle Days at Lake Red Rock.
The first event we attended was the Minnesota Raptor Center's presentation. I've attended various Raptor Center events over the years and I must say, they are a well-run organization that does a great job with education.
The presentation included this Red Tailed Hawk that was blind in one eye from West Nile Virus.
This Peregrine Falcon was surrendered to the Raptor Center by a falconer who found that she wasn't a strong hunter. Tests run by the center indicate she has a weak heart and therefore doesn't have enough stamina to survive in the wild.
This Great Horned Owl was 'rescued' as a hatchling by people who found it on the ground. Rather than leave it for the parents to take care of on the ground (which is the appropriate response), they tried to care for him. He imprinted on humans. As a result, he doesn't know how to hunt and still talks like an owl baby.
This eagle was brought to the Raptor Center as a juvenile after it was struck by a car.
After the presentation, we walked through the exhibits, watched a presentation on bats, and then went to the Dam. The eagles were restless with all the people walking around watching them (according to the man from the Raptor Center, they had counted over a hundred the day before and I know my parents have seen as many as a hundred when they've taken walks at the dam).
I took better Eagle shots at Christmas. However, this juvenile was funny. I was directly below him and he wouldn't fly off. The whole group of us stood underneath him and he just kept tilting his head looking at us, probably wondering what our problem was. Finally, Tim took a stick and hit the trunk of the tree he was in and he took off.
Here are some other shots from our day.