Birds of Prey
By: Pat Coate
Last Sunday the Canyon Camera Club sponsored its 8th Annual Photographer’s Dream Day at the Mount Morris Dam & Visitor Center. There were tours of and views from the dam and a couple of great seminars on photography in Letchworth State Park presented by Gary & Phyllis Thompson of Image City Photography (Rochester). There were many different subjects to photograph, including antique autos and bikes, and people in costume – a bagpiper, Seneca Indian, Mary Jamison, pioneers.
My favorite subjects to photograph, however, were provided by Ron Walker of Friends with Feathers. Friends with Feathers is an organization whose stated mission is to educate the public about birds of prey. Mr. Walker had on hand a broad-winged hawk, barn owl and barred owl that for various reasons cannot be released. It was fun to see these birds up close and learn more about them. Tidbits of information from the Friends with Feathers website are shown below in quotes.
This is “a female Broad-winged Hawk who was mature when she was adopted in 2002. She had dislocated her left shoulder, which would prevent her from successfully migrating to Central or South America.”
For some reason, I am still surprised that birds have tongues!
If I were Harry Potter, I would have definitely chosen a barn owl as my pet of choice. The coloring of the feathers is phenomenal and the beak is so well hidden.
“Owls have excellent hearing that is 4 or 5 times better than a human. Owls can hear a mouse running in the grass 100 yards away. That’s the length of a football field!”
“Owl’s eyes fill most of their skulls, leaving little space for their brains. Most of their very small brain is involved with their excellent hearing and eyesight.” That small brain makes me wonder just how wise they really are.
“Owl’s eyes are in the front of their heads. This allows them to have excellent depth perception. Owl’s eyes are so large that they can not move in their sockets. Seven extra bones in their necks allow them to turn their heads 270 degrees. Owls have black and white vision.”
“The Barred Owl’s outer ear openings are complicated and asymmetrical in structure. The right ear is larger, opens upward and is tight to the facial disk while the smaller left ear opens downward and is back on the side of the face.”
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Honey, they don’t have to be wise. They’re BEAUTIFUL! (Sort of like the blondes in Hollywood!) Your photos are sheer perfection. Could not be better!
5 September 2010 at 2:53 pm
Their faces are almost otherworldly, and yet, they are perfectly adapted to do what they do.
6 September 2010 at 6:13 pm
Makes me glad I’m not a bunny rabbit! They really are magical creatures, aren’t they. Your pictures are wonderful and I wish you the best.
22 September 2010 at 11:20 am
I work for HawkWatch International and really enjoyed your photos. They are beautiful!
25 October 2010 at 5:23 pm