Saturday 5 May 2012: Lois the Imprinted
The whole family participated in a three bird release by the U of M's Raptor Center today. Back into the wild went two red tailed hawks and a kestrel which all, thankfully, had short rehabilitation stays at the center. The longer they are at the center, the harder it can be for them to readjust to the ways of living in the wild.
Usually, the ritual of releasing the birds is a leisurely paced event but, with dark skies overhead and thunder in the distance, the 1,500 spectators were quickly gathered around the platform and, as the rain started to lightly drop from the sky, the birds were released in succession as fast as you could say 1, 2 and 3. First the two hawks and, then, the kestrel. The hawks did what hawks do......put on a little aerobatic air show to the oohs and awes of the crowd prior to darting north. The kestrel flew all of fifty yards and sat in a tree looking at his fans like a theatre actor doing his encore on stage. He would not leave the stage. Within minutes of his release, the downpour started. I have never seen rain fall harder and faster in a long time and the crowd scattered like leaves in the wind
Prior to the release, I blipped Lois, a great horned owl. She has been at the center since 2001 when she fell from her nest in the northern part of that state and was "imprinted" (came into close contact with or was touched by a human). An imprinted raptor cannot be returned to the wild because it has lost its natural fear of humans. Great horned owls demonstrate this imprinting by soliciting food from humans and by showing fear of other great horned owls. Imprinting occurs during the critical learning period of brain development. This permanent injury creates a situation in which an individual of a species sees someone of another species as its own kind. Lois is now used in educational classes to teach people about owls and the dangers of imprinting. Lois flies on a tether and weighs only 2.75 ponds. She is one of my favorite birds at the center.
I do not ever remember having less energy and feeling as "flat" as I did when I awoke this morning. My schedule and the pressures at work over the last three months have finally taken a toll on my weekend mojo. I usually can always find a bit of gas in the tank....but not today....not even for blip. Other than the raptor release, a long walk with the dogs and the viewing of the Kentucky Derby, I did absolutely nothing but to have sat in my chair and day dreamed. Even the iPad felt heavy in my hands so I have not viewed many journals today.
I actually thought I was to have a week without travel but, alas, I arrived home from the raptor release to an email that said I must be in Gotham City tomorrow evening for dinner. This is getting old and so am I.
I am wishing you a bright and brilliant Sunday and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your response to my blip of Andre.
In big, you can see my relection in her eye.