Monday, February 13, 2006

The Raptor Field Trip

One of the special events at this NANPA was a visit to Fort Collins to visit the raptors that are part of the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program. This program nurses injured birds back to health and provides programs for education. We got to see and photograph six birds - an American kestral, a swainson hawk, a golden eagle, a great horned owl, a long eared owl, and a burrowing owl. The volunteers were especially good at placing the birds so that we had natural backgrounds for our photos.

Yes, these are captive birds, but they have all been injured or damaged in some way, and probably would not survive in the wild. The burrowing owl had lost one eye - they don't know how but suspect he got hit by a car. One of my positions on captive animals is that they act as good will ambassadors for their species. By educating our children as to the beauty, magesty, and purpose of these animals, they will learn to appreciate nature and hopefully gain the desire to preserve our natural resources.

When I have attended various sessions such as this, it helps me better identify the birds in the wild. I also appreciate the beauty of their feather patterns and their keen intelligence. It is truly a joy and a privilege to spend time with these incredible birds of prey.

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