Saturday, May 27, 2017

World Center for Birds of Prey

Wednesday was windy.  A dry cold front moved through the area.  So we decided to go out and wash the RV.  It looks so much better.  After washing the bus, we thought we would go to the World Center for Birds of Prey

This is Wally, a Eurasian Eagleowl.  He’s huge.


This is Morley, the Gyrfalcon.  They come in a variety of colors.


The center gives a talk four times a day.  This is Steve, a volunteer.  Interestingly enough, Steve has been going to the same RV park we go to in Tucson for about six years.  He’s in the pet section so our paths have not crossed.

Pergrines are such neat birds.  They can hit 240 mph in a dive.  Their wings are swept back, unlike those of hawks, so they can’t ride the thermals.   They don’t have enough lift.  Females are larger than males by about a third.  The first week the chicks have hatched, mom has to incubate the eggs and defend the nest.  Her larger size is an advantage.  As the chicks mature, it takes both parents to keep them fed.  In the winter, most of them migrate to Argentina. 

Peregrines in New York City have started not to migrate.  They have a constant source of pigeons to eat, so there’s no reason to leave.  There is pair living in Boise.  Their last clutch had three babies.  When the first fledged, it flew into a window of another building.  It was stunned, but not seriously hurt. The second fledged, and was hit by a car, landing in a street.  It happened that there were bird watchers on scene waiting for the fledge, so they ran out, stopped traffic, picked up the bird and called Idaho Fish and Game.  They kept the baby over night and in the morning they took the elevator to the 14th floor where the nest was and put him back in it.  The third fledged, ran into wires and died.  Babies don’t have a high survival rate, most do not make in through the first year.


There is a bald eagle in one of the outdoor enclosures.  They’re tough to photograph due to the bars and the low light.


The center also raises California Condors.  In 1992 there were only 22 birds left.  They were captured and breeding programs were started.  Their survival is still precarious, but the numbers are on the rise. 

If you’re in the area, it’s worth going to.  In the fall they also do free flight outside.

1 comment:

  1. We really enjoyed that place. We lucked out and got to see a free flight show because they were training a new falcon. Definitely worth a visit.