Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday

  
 
Wild Bird Wednesday # 54 
 
 
I am taking some liberties with this post because it is not all birds and some would say my birds are not wild ... but that is the point of this post.  Last Tuesday I was privileged to join the Norther Illinois Raptor Center while giving a program in the Laurie Gardens of Millennium Park (Chicago, Illinois).  This park is so wonderful I couldn't resist including some pictures with my WBW post ... but the birds are my story. 
 
 This is the Band Shell that was visible as we approached.  It is a magnificent sculpture that serves to send the sound of music in many directions.
 
 On the inside you can see how the sculpture extends out over the grass area so that even the person at the far back can hear the music at it's best.
On the other side of a tall hedge is "The Bean", another sculpture that has gained international attention.   The Bean reflects and distorts everything around it and make a constantly changing (and personal) mural for all that are close to it. 
 
Walking back to Laurie Gardens we discovered an "Oh so inviting"  foot cooling channel ... as it was in the 90's that evening, it took all we could muster to avoid jumping in.

And finally Laurie Gardens ... a garden of native perennials that lies in contrast to the looming buildings of the city.

As we stood in the gardens with birds, people from all over the world streamed by ... most were shocked to see our beautiful raptors and all were full of questions.   Where did you get them?  Are they tame?  Can I touch them ... this is one of the reasons we give these programs.  It is so important for the welfare of the wild raptors that people understand the importance of their role in nature (culling populations of rodents, other birds and insects to keep them in balance with nature).  It is also important for the public to understand that they are not pets ... can never be pets.  They are wild and their instincts prevent them from being domesticated.   Many of the raptors in rehab facilities are there because people see them as babies, cute little fluff balls, in their nest or on the ground, having fallen from the nest.  They want them as pets and take them home away from what they are meant to be.  They feed them the wrong foods that destroys their health and as they grow older they become a danger, footing (grabbing with their long talons) and puncturing or ripping flesh with their curved beaks.   They were born wild and they remain wild.  Yes, we hold them on our gloves, but much work has gone into the training of the handlers and the birds to make this happen.  As education birds they are given the best quality of life that we can provide in a captive setting, but we respect the fact that they remain wild and can be dangerous.   So that is my message today ... never pick up a wild raptor baby and take it home ... it will never be your pet.  Always call a trained rehabilitater if you find a baby or an injured adult.  That is the best and safest solution for you and for the birds ...
 Male American Kestrel
 
Great Horned Owl

Red Tailed Hawk

Barred Owl
 
The birds of the park knew what they were and considered them a threat.  Throughout the entire program they gathered in the trees and buildings around us  sounding their alarm ... some even diving at the birds to drive them away.  Wild knows wild ... even if we don't!  Our education birds are birds that have been injured in some way and could not survive if they were released.  That is the only reason they remain in captivity.  And they continue to serve a purpose by educating us.


52 comments:

  1. they're wonderful to see up-close!

    :)

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    1. They are indeed ... most are surprised by their size. Thanks for stopping by TWG ...

      Andrea

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  2. Fantastic captures for the day, Andrea!! "The Bean" and the band shell are awesome and what incredible, beautiful birds! Thanks for sharing with us today!! Hope your week is going well!

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    1. This was the first time I had seen the park in person though I have seen a million pictures. I was surprised at the size and how truly awesome everything was. I am certain I will make it a point to go there again. Glad you liked our birds ... I am partial to them myself :)

      Andrea @ From The Sol

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  3. How interesting indeed. Wild is wild and I get that.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I'm glad you get it ... I wish more people did. It is so essential to allow nature to run its course without interfering ... though I know, at times it can be difficult. Thanks for stopping by Sandee ...

      Andrea

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  4. That Great Horned Owl looks amazing. From Findlay

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    1. She is amazing. The girls that work with her regularly adore her. She is a very wise owl :)

      Andrea

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  5. Oh this is a place that I love! and was there such a short time ago! Where were you. This looks like a great event, and so glad that you got to go to this! Great shots andrea

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    1. Hi Jeanne, we were in the Laurie Gardens which is right across the street from the Chicago Art Institute. Our Organization does four of these programs at Millenium Park every summer. I am not always available, so this was my first time. I love working with the birds and am always amazed at the reaction of the people ... Thank you for stopping by Jeanne ...

      Andrea

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  6. Great shots, bur I always fell sad that they will never grow up in the wild. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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    1. It makes me sad too. I hate it that they will never be free and I hope in my heart that by saving them from death (through Rehab) we are providing them with a quality of life that they can understand and appreciate. We'll never know for sure, but feel the need to try.

      Andrea

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  7. I have yet to find ANY owls in my neck of the woods out in the wild...this was such an interesting post...and GREAT photos.

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    1. Thank you Hootin Anni ... I am surprised that you don't have owls in your wild woods ... maybe they just haven't found you yet. Or maybe, they are there and you haven't found them yet. They can fly right up to a branch above you without you knowing it ... they are silent flyers. So next time you are out at night, make sure you look up ... you might be surprised :)

      Andrea

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  8. A wonderful post... many thanks for sharing your images.

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    1. Thank you Andrew. I am glad you stopped by ...

      Andrea

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  9. Great photos - what a shame that some people want to take such beautiful creatures out of their wild environment.

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    1. I am hoping that through education we can prevent at least some of that behavior ... but, there will always be some and I agree ... what a shame.

      Andrea

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  10. Awesome shots of the hawks and owls! That would be great to see them up close like that. Love the sculptures, too!

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    1. As many times as I have put a hawk or owl on my glove, I never cease to be amazed and thrilled. They are smart and powerful birds and I feel so privileged to be a part of this program. As for the sculptures, I am with you ... they were just amazing. Thanks for stopping by, Brian ...

      Andrea

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  11. Wonderful cause - glorious birds. Sometimes I despair of people though. Why can't we enjoy things (like the raptors) that are as free as they are meant to be. It isn't all about us. And neither it should be.
    (As an aside, I wouldn't have been able to resist a paddle in the pond.)

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    1. Ah, but you are wise and many are not ... many ...too many, do think it is all about them. Time has eroded our respect for nature and even each other. Sad but true ...

      Oh, I plan to go back to the foot cooling pool. It was so tempting and, as it is still very hot around here, it is still tempting in the back of my mind. Wish you could join me ...

      Andrea

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  12. How wonderful to see these birds close up and personal, and I LOVE the "Bean".

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    1. The birds are wonderful and there is nothing like Up Close and Personal as long as you are careful. As for the "Bean". It was such a hoot! But, I have to say that it made my friend and I look squaty and fat ... now is that nice? Yes, good for laughs which we all need ... Thanks for stopping by Karen ...

      Andrea

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  13. What an amazing chance to see birds up close - especially the kestrel - one of my favorites. I spotted one in the spring - what excitement.

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    1. The Kestrel is an amazing little Falcon. We have seen them in the wild and they are phenomenal hunters as well as beautiful. I love working with the Raptors. They never cease to amaze me. I agree, what excitement! Thanks for stopping by JoAnn ...

      Andrea @ From The Sol

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  14. Very cool closeup of the Raptors. I love the city scenes too. Wonderful photos.

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    1. Thanks Eileen ... coming from you, that is a wonderful compliment.

      Andrea

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  15. What a thrill it must be to work with these birds. One of my favorite places to see this at the Desert Museum in Tucson AZ. To watch these birds free flying during their presentation is awe inspiring.

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    1. I remember well the beautiful pictures you posted of those Raptors. When I volunteered at the Rehab facility we used to fly our raptors in shows. Someday these birds will be flown, but it takes a time and the proper facilities to train them. That is down the road ... I agree, it is wonderful when they can fly free, if only for a short time. Thanks for stopping by Queen of Free Flying Raptors :)

      Andrea

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  16. Hi Andrea What a wonderful privilege to work with these birds so closely and to educate people the importance of these beautiful birds in the wild. They are all wonderful is different ways however my favorite is the Great Horned Owl. Margaret

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    1. The GHO is often the favorite because she is awesome. However, if you worked with all of them, you would have a hard time picking a favorite because they all have personalities and are charming as long as you use the proper precautions. Thank you for your comment, Margaret ...

      Andrea

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  17. fabulous post, but that owl is such a beauty, my favourite

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    1. Thank you Carole. I assume you are referring to the Great Horned Owl as she is the more gregarious of the two owls. But, in truth they are all wonderfully patient raptors. Glad you enjoyed ...

      Andrea

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  18. Andrea, what fabulous photos! The birds are wonderful. I would have loved to be there and see them up close. What a great program to teach folks about the birds. Also, that "bean" looks to be amazing. I would like to have seen this too. Time now to get ready to go home. (I'm at work still) You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. Working with the birds is more wonderful than I could begin to describe ... I have done it for years and still feel a thrill when I bring a bird up on my glove. As for "The Bean" ... it is a delight. Though, I must warn you, that if you stand close to it, your reflection will be short and dumpy ... Fun as long as you can dismiss that possiblity of it being real :). Thanks for stopping by Edna ...

      Andrea

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  19. the pics of the birds are so nice!!!


    personally i never have believed in capturing birds and domesticating them!!...

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

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    1. These birds are not captured, they are rescued ... I know that is a fine line and I often struggle with the need to allow nature to take its course. But, that said, most of the injured birds we rescued were injured not by nature, but by the intrusion of man. In this case, I feel justified in trying to provide some of the quality of life that they have been deprived of. I respect and understand your view ... thanks for your comment ...

      Andrea

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  20. Hi there - nice post. I think that the birds may be wild about not being wild, so they still count. I think these raptor shows are a great way to show people birds.

    I think that you (and I) may have to wait a while for more Western Bowerbird shots - the closest to me are a three hours plane flight away!

    Cheers and thanks for the link to WBW - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Don't be fooled, Stewart. Any one of our birds would jump at the chance to be free ... they just don't realize that they would never survive. The imprinted birds, however, love the idea of being provided with food because they have never had to hunt for it, so, in that case, you may be a little right ... they might just like not being wild.

      I like your chances of seeing a Western Bowerbird before me as my flight would be in the vicinity of 12 hours and a day or two of jet lag :) So, I will wait for your next opportunity ...

      Andrea

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  21. This post shows your photography skills. You definitely shine in this area. Nice post.

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    1. Thanks, McGuffy Ann ... your opinion matters ...

      Andrea

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  22. I think you do a wonderful job in using captive raptors to educate Joe Public about the same species he/she can see in the wild, but only if they themselves help conservation. Loved your photos Andrea.

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    1. Teaching and rescuing raptors is a small part of the Conservation effort. We are all committed to conservation ... if only everyone was. I shutter at the politics of this issue. I hope mankind wakes up soon ...

      Andrea

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  23. Great photos, I love the one of the "The Bean" and your birds are so beautiful. I found a small baby wild bird with no sign of the nest that could not fly once and I called the no kill shelter near me about what to do about it. They had a bird specialist who picked it up when I dropped it off there who was going to rehabilitate it into the wild. It was hard not to keep it, but wild birds deserve to be able to live their lives wild if that's a possibility...

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    1. You did the right and fair thing Lisa ... I wish more people would follow their conscience. I know how cute they are when they are babies, but, like you said, they deserve to live their lives as nature planned it. Thank you for stopping by ...

      Andrea

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  24. A great post with so much to see apart from the birds. For me especially nice to see the owl.

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    1. Everyone seem sto like the owls, possibly because they are so rarely seen in the wild. It was a fun program in a wonderful place. Thanks for stopping by, Arija ...

      Andrea

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  25. lots of good stuff you share. Both sculpture and birds. Love it all. :)

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  26. Gorgeous birds! It must be amazing to get so close to them.

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  27. Beautiful series.Very interesting.

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  28. What a wonderful service you're providing! How gratifying it must be to impart your knowledge to others. Even if you only reach one individual, it's a contribution toward our grandchildren's legacy.

    Thank you!

    It's been interesting to participate in the Florida Breeding Bird Atlas program this year. Some of our raptor species are thriving. Sadly, loss of habitat has really impacted others.

    I really enjoyed your "Non-Wild" Bird Wednesday post!

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