Category Archives: raptor rehabilitation

A Great Blue Heron Named Romeo? (Not Art Nbr 11)

In the beginning she’d lobbied to name the turkeys, which I nixed, but I relented later when I saw what she had in mind.

She christened them Mr. Thanksgiving, Mr. Dinner, Mr. Sausage, and—in a wild first-grade culinary stretch — Sushi.

excerpted from “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life”
by Barbara Kingsolver, with Steven Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

© 2017 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Herons with Litter – babsjeheron

Long-time readers may remember posts about an apparently lovelorn young male Great Blue Heron coming of age and his ardent pursuit of an older female.

On this day of cleanup in the cove, the young male had been intently watching the female from yards away down the cove, while the female poked the mud with her long beak, tugging persistently at something.

Just as the young male made his move, strutting up the clove towards the female in his courtship posture, her beak lurched free from the mud, with a huge plastic bag stuck on her lower bill.

I watched from my kayak hidden from their view in the trees along the shore, wondering if his ardor would be cooled by the plastic bag, or if he would try to wrest the trophy from her.

She pivoted on her heels and flew westward out of the cove with the bag trailing from her beak, leaving the young male behind.

I would be anthropomorphizing – something forbidden for field naturalists – were I to describe him as being dejected, of course.

But then again, these are the only two wild creatures to whom I’ve given names.

How much – or how little – do we know about the emotional lives of birds?

And how do we know what we know?

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Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Names. At a presentation at the lake’s Nature Center years ago, the noted raptor rehabilitator Tom Ricardi was asked what he named the Eagles and Hawks and Falcons in his care. His reply was that he did not name the raptors, because to name them would diminish their wild nature. That philosophy struck a chord, but I made an exception for Romeo, shown in the photo here. Similarly, the marvelous author Barbara Kingsolver described teaching her children to not name the animals they were raising as their food, and even she allowed an exception for some obstreperous young male turkeys, who became known as Mr. Thanksgiving, Mr. Dinner, Mr. Sausage and even “Sushi.”

I’ve written here in the past about Tom Ricardi’s delightful presentation of Bald Eagles at our Nature Center, and this short video shows Tom with a 35 year old Golden Eagle, Turkey Vulture, Kestrel, Gyrfalcon and more.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.

A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2017 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN

ew a cardinal

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Bald Eagle & Friends in the Community

The eagle’s eyes flashed, and in a heartbeat it was straining, wings spread wide and pumping, aiming straight at the lens of my camera and me! So fierce, so majestic, so close…

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Bald eagle about to take off.

…and so securely tethered to its handler.

This week, Cheri and WordPress have asked us to show community, and so the photos here are from a community program hosted at the Nature Center by the Commonwealth’s Department of Conservation and Recreation. The speaker that day brought an exhibit of live birds from his raptor rescue center. (I’ll update the post with his website and contact details as soon as I receive them. Although I had snail-mailed photo enlargements to them, I don’t have a URL, unfortunately.)

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

For privacy reasons, photos of the children aren’t shown in this post, but as the presence of the school bus affirms, the crowd had many children, who listened raptly and were delighted by the raptors on display. I’ll update you with the web link for the rescue center as soon as I receive it.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Giving the crowd an up-close and personal view of the turkey vulture.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

This photo gives a good look at how large the bald eagle is relative to the size of man. Each of the wooden crates in tbe background contains another raptor to be shown to the crowd: Red Tailed Hawk, Saw-whet Owl, Turkey Vulture, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel and more. Bald eagles and peregrine falcons are bred and then raised from egg to release in the wild at the rescue center.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Some of the rescued birds are too damaged to be returned to the wild, such as this owl.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Northern saw-whet owl.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Kestrel

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Turkey vulture

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Peregrine falcon.

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Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Community prompt. She asked for photos that speak to the topic of “community.” This Nature Center program is one of an ongoing series hosted at the lake for our community.

Thanks to Ailsa for her Weekly Travel Theme: Symbol prompt. The Bald Eagle is the symbol of the US. This was the closest I have ever been to an eagle, just about five feet away. The eagle looked majestic and fierce.

Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for the Wild Bird Wednesday prompt.

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A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

(These photos were taken July 27, 2007.)

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Bald Eagle, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon

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