May 22, 2011

Eagle-Rassling and Rooster-Netting

M. and went down to the Raptor Center in Pueblo on Saturday for a wildlife-transporters' class on handling raptors.

Here Diana Miller, the Raptor Center director, demonstrates how to handle an eagle. This particular bird has been handled a lot—she is more than forty years old and has been an "education bird" for most of her life after having an injured wing amputated. That does not mean she is completely docile, however!

When it was my turn, in fact, I kept thinking about how close her beak was to my chin and wondering how she felt about men with beards. (OK, apparently.)

The next session involved capture, and since the Raptor Center did not want us chasing their Swainson's hawk or some other exhibit birds around, someone provided two roosters.

In the second photo, you see one of the transport volunteers making her approach with a capture net.

The net is cotton—mesh nets can cause injuries to birds and animals if their feet, wings, or heads become entangled.

The roosters were indignant about being netted, but once released they quickly returned to checking the ground for green plants and bugs.

Speaking of capture, the peregrine falcon that I picked up last August in the Wet Mountain Valley was released there in late April after spending the winter recuperating at the Raptor Center. Unfortunately, M. and I were unable to be present for the release, which was done for a school presentation in Westcliffe, but apparently all went well.

And the foxes from Mission: Wolf are doing well too, the local rehabilitator tells me.


Clare Slaney said...

Won't somebody think of the eagles dignity?!!

Unknown said...

good to hear that about the foxes and "your" falcon. One of the funniest things I EVER saw was two animal control officers trying to catch a stray rooster that had wandered into our yard in Norman OK one year. Endless hours of amuzement.