Monday, March 05, 2012

Eagle Days

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.


  1. Ooo. My kind of day!
    Love that last picture. Such beautiful girls you and Tim have.

  2. Hooray for raptors. Fun to see your much closer photos.

  3. Great photos! Are you familiar with the Decorah Eagles? There is a live stream of their nest...

  4. I had to show my husband your pictures. We have a big bird thing in our house... Even though we live in the city, we have a large "wash" that goes through the neighborhood. We have all kinds of wild life that come out to see us. We have gone out at night to see 2 HUGE owls up in the palm trees. They are the most amazing things! I've only ever seen one eagle in my life and it was in the wild. So amazingly stunning! :)


  5. Oh I love to see any birds up close. I haven't had much luck photographing them though. They always come out blurry. Your pics are so great (as usual)! One day you'll tell me your secrets, right?

  6. Beautiful pictures! WOW! Great captures. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  7. Beautiful photography, as always. I love birds of prey.

  8. Birds of prey are AWESOME. Love them, especially owls. However, on a recent visit to a birds of prey centre in the Lake District we were told that, despite the idea that owls are wise, there isn't much going on in their brains! Lol.

    Your photographs are amazing. You're so talented.

    1. It sounds like there is little go on in the heads of many birds...but owls do seem particularly dim - they told us that when an owl chick falls and is turned in to the Raptor Center - they check the location of the find and if there is no evidence of parents or the nest is destroyed - they will just pop the fledgling in an active nest they know of - Mama Owl has no idea that she has one more baby and feeds it like the others (doesn't matter if it is bigger or smaller than her own either)...

      So much for the wise old owl:

      A wise old owl lived in an oak
      The more he saw the less he spoke
      The less he spoke the more he heard.
      Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?