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Morning rays, Cañon de Chelly

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Catch and release

My friends Ken and Lauren had a baby red tailed hawk fall out of its nest in a tree in their yard a few months ago. They brought the young female bird to a local animal hospital, which in turn sent it to The Funds for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona to rehab, where it bonded with another bird. A few weeks ago, the two birds were released back on their property. You can link to the whole story and Ken's excellent pictures here on the Village News website.


I asked Ken and Lauren if I could tag along for the release and they graciously assented.


Their original bird was released first. She wasn't really sure if she wanted to leave the safety of the box but finally made her entrance.



After a bit of needed terrestrial time, the young raptor flew to the safety of a nearby juniper where she proceeded to hang upside down, a bit terrified at the prospect of freedom. 


An introduction to a new player in the neighborhood quickly brought out a none too happy greeting party of mockingbirds and crows, and also a larger red tailed, which we surmised was this bird's mother coming over to say hello.

The next picture shows the ostensible mother, a mockingbird and the young raptor all in one shot. Our youngster is on the bottom of the juniper on the right, hard to see.


Loving these critters, I took a zillion shots. Soon we released bird #2.

This bird didn't hang around too long. The next shot shows his or her's nicitating eye shield.


Posed a little bit and looked cool. Check out the beautiful talons. Reminds me of Burgess Meredith's Penguin in this shot.

This bird wasn't really into hanging around so much and quickly flew off, perhaps seeking new and different pastures.


Really want to thank Ken and Lauren Seals for allowing me to be part of this. Thanks to the Wildlife Center for taking such great care of these birds. Love these wild animals, don't shoot them. 

3 comments:

Beth Jester said...

Thank you Robert...beautiful photos.

Anonymous said...

Amazing photos. Raptors just take my breath away, always have. Thank you.
Deli guy

Blue Heron said...

thank you both.