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April 15, 2012: Birds of a Feather

Last night Pete and I went to a photo club get together. The members had arranged to have the Alaska Wildlife Raptor Rehabilitation Center volunteers to bring in birds for people to observe and photograph.

Once we got there, I was glad we went. The space (The Mad Matters Frame Shop) was small. There were also a lot of people. The volunteers had brought in a magpie, a Sandhill Crane, an owl, and a red tail hawk. The birds remained calm all evening long. If there were any signs of duress, I remained unaware of it. Sandy, the Sandhill Crane, would every so often go into her dog crate—her handler said that when she got stressed she took time outs.

Each bird had a story. Sandy’s was that she had been raised by humans and had imprinted on people. She was rescued because her first owners weren’t quite sure what to do with her. This was not so of the other birds: however, all remained relaxed in human company.

I tried to take a few photos. I never before noticed that birds are constantly moving. Even the one-eyed owl would shift about and watch people. I could not get good photos because there was not enough light. So I happily put away my camera and talked with people.

The high point of the evening (for me) was seeing Laurie Jo Green’s work. She had a nice sampling on her iPad. Her images were tack sharp and in focus. I remained mesmerized, maybe because I now know just how difficult it is to get good photos. Bears, birds, people who live in distant places – I did not tire of looking at her work. The best were two sequences of photos, of birds being released back into the wild. It brought chills to my spine, seeing the strong, powerful eagle, wings extended, take flight. What good work the raptor center volunteers do.

Laurie Jo’s photos gave me something to aspire to. It also made me realize that if I’m serious about taking photos of wild birds, that I should do some volunteer work at the raptor rehabilitation center.

Right now I’m pressed for time. Signy still has not foaled. A neighbor, Judy Donegan, observed that she lacks incentive to do so. Right now, life as it is is just fine. Signy’s getting doted on morning and night – she gets more hay than anyone else, and has very clean quarters. (This in spite of the fact that we’re now smack dab in the thick of breakup.) And neither she nor Hrimfari have to fear Tinni the perceived oppressor, or Raudi the real oppressor.

Sandy the Sandhill Crane

Maggie the Magpie

Redtail hawk
Red-tailed hawk

This morning I took Signy for a walk, and after brushed her and did body work. And this evening I will again do the same.

Next: 129. 4/16/12: Mare Watch