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Majestic Birds of Prey

Highland Wonders ~ February 4th, 2011

Live birds of prey visited Highland Wonders from the WSU Raptor Club, from the Washington State University campus in Pullman, WA. Volunteers from this non-profit volunteer organization aim to promote wildlife conservation through the use of non-releasable raptors as living representatives in public environmental education programs. These injured raptors helped tell the story of how birds of prey are doing in today’s world and what we can do to help.

Jessica Graham walks "Widget" through the audience. Widget is a male Barn Owl (Tyto alba) whose nest was accidentally knocked off of a stack of baled hay while the bales were being moved. He was the only owlet in his nest to survive the fall. He has no physical injuries keeping him from being released, but has been "imprinted"onto humans.  This means that he is too comfortable around humans to act like a normal Barn Owl.   

Lynsey Bassen asks "Dalton," the Rough-Legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus), to show the audience her wings, and how she is missing part of one wing. Dalton sustained gunshot wounds to her right wing. Part of her wing was removed by the individual who found her, as it was barely attached. She lost her primary feathers and can no longer fly.

Rough-legged Hawks are so named because their legs are feathered down to their feet, whereas most hawks have bare legs.  This feathering is thought to be an adaptation to cold environments.
Dakota, a Red-Tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), sustained injuries after being shot by a pellet gun and then was hit by a car when she fell out of the sky. She is blind in her right eye, making judging distance nearly impossible for her, and making her non-releasable.

Lisa Lindsay, a Tonakset resident who is working to develop a local raptor rehabilitation center, walks Kessie through the audience.

American Kestrels are the smallest falcons in North America and are the second smallest falcons worldwide.
Kessie is a female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) with a malaligned, healed fracture of the left humerus, rendering her unable to fly.

Tallulah and other audience members ask questions after the presentation.
Participants had opportunities to see the birds up close.

Bird information provided from the presentation and from the WSU Raptor Club.