We went to see a brief presentation at Callaway Gardens about raptors. I have to admit, my expectations were rather low, but Callaway ladies in the hallways assured us that we should go to see it. So we did. It was a highlight of the day.
Three birds were introduced, one at a time. This Harris’ hawk was first. It is a resident of the desert southwest.
It is a really beautiful bird. We were told it sees four times faster than we do.
The next was a great horned owl.
Their hearing is so good that sitting there, it could hear us breathing. As it flew past it could hear our hearts beat. It could hear a mouse under two feet of snow.
I love this low-profile pose.
The final bird was a black vulture.
See those white legs? We were told that vultures’ legs are actually black. It is designed to urinate/poop down its own legs to help disinfect them from its food sources. Another lovely little fact I had heard before: they have a self-defense strategy of vomiting on their predators. Would work for me! But one thing I did not know is that most birds have NO sense of smell. I can sure see how that might be helpful in the line of work that vultures are in.
All of the birds have been damaged in some way and can not survive in the wild and so have been somewhat trained to fly, untethered, from perch to perch. They came zooming down this center aisle right past my head. Here comes the vulture!
“Look alive, kids!” ---that is what my dad used to say when there were vultures (buzzards) flying over us.
It was a fascinating show!