Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hawk Man

We had our field trip experience at home today. Our friend, Mr. Andy, brought his red-tailed hawk to show the kids. We invited a few families to see and had a great afternoon of it.

Here's Mr. Andy and Dart (or is it Dash?):

Tubby particularly enjoyed the attention from everyone (after he jumped in Mr. Andy's car and generally made the hawk nervous):

We learned lots of tidbits about hawks. For instance, it's the talons and not the beak that do the attacking. 

We learned lots of names of all the hawk gear (which quickly "flew" out of my head). We even learned why this red-tailed hawk has no red tail (not mature yet).

Just being so close to a bird that only see soaring or perched far away was pretty stunning. He was gorgeous. Mr. Andy has permits to capture and train wild birds, which he then lets go at about age 3 when they become mature males. The details of the capturing and care of the birds was fascinating.

The hawk didn't fly for us as it is the wrong time of year for him (Mr. Andy explained that he's just too fat now to do much but perch on a shady limb) and the kids couldn't pet the bird (see talons above), but they were fascinated by the gear, including the glove (which also has a name!).

It was a great field trip - at home!

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