|The Stars of the Show|
|Sadie, the American Kestrel|
|Stanley, the Harris Hawk|
The bird handlers ranged in age from about 9 or 10 it looked like, to teens and 20's. There were two experts who took turns doing the speaking, one on hawks, the other on owls. The youngest handler, who looked to be about 9, worked with the birds daily at the Hawk and Owl Sanctuary at West Valley Outdoor Learning Center. He seemed very confident in his handling skills.
|Young Handler and Stanley the Harris Hawk|
seen on TV on KHQ 6 news, advertising the Birds of Prey exhibit at the Big Horn Show. He was a beautiful male Barn Owl. The males have a mostly white belly, while the females have more spots/streaks on their bellies. The teenage handler of Willie said his favorite part of the Barn Owl was their heart-shaped facial disk. I was surprised to learn that Barn Owls only live one or two years and eat up to 1000 mice a year!
|One-eyed Willie the Barn Owl|
|Willie, Barn Owl|
|Hanovi flipped upside down|
Apparently, Hanovi is well behaved enough that he can be kept out of his cage, although tethered to a pole. He does snap and hiss at people, but doesn't bite. His beak is so strong he could snap a broomstick in half.
|Hanovi, the Great Horned Owl|
You can imagine my glee when the next bird came out and it was a huge Rough-legged Hawk! Yep, my newest life bird (see yesterday's post). They came and stood right in front of me just about 3 feet away! I swear I was in hawk heaven! The main speaker said this was her favorite, and her name was Pantelones, which is Spanish for Pants, which happens to be her nickname. She was named this because of the feathers on her legs make it look like she is wearing pants.
|Pantelones (Pants) the Rough-legged Hawk|
This hawk was really a gorgeous creature, and to be so up close and personal was truly a special moment. The fact that I had just added this hawk to my life list yesterday, made it all the more special. Pants made the sweetest little chirps, and her handler would whisper to her throughout the show.
|Pants, the Rough-legged Hawk|
On the other side of the stage, down on the floor was another owl. Oroville was a mixed hybrid. Spotted Owl x Barred Owl = Sp+arred Owl.
|Spotted Owl x Barred Owl = Sparred Owl|
|Oroville, the Sparred Owl|
The following picture is of a Long-eared Owl. Notice the eyes look a little dull? That is because it is a stuffed (taxidermy) specimen.
|Long-eared Owl (stuffed) on display|
It was a great time spent with the Bird of Prey at the Big Horn Show. I wasn't much interested in all the other hunter related stuff, but did enjoy doing some taxidermy birding while I was there. Scoping out all the stuffed ducks and birds and trying to identify them. I stopped by one booth that had some spotting scopes and binoculars displayed. Told the guy I was into bird watching, not hunting. He pointed out a pair of binoculars and said they were the top bird watching bins. I took one look through them and it was like looking through the cleanest window you had ever seen with the freshest eyes! He told me they run about $18.99. I was sold! I was about ready to whip out my debit card when I realized he was talking eighteen hundred and ninety-nine dollars!! I laughed, and told him he was a big tease! Now, Bird Lady wants some obscenely expensive bins! Oh boy...
~ Sherrie (Bird Lady)