Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Day with the Raptors

Today was crazy, and if I don't want to fail at NaBlogWriMo on the first day, today will have be a photo-heavy post. We've got some catching up to do anyway.

A few days before school started again, Pipsqueak and I went to VINS (Vermont Institute of Natural Science) in Quechee, Vermont. They are a rehabilitation center for raptors (hawks, eagles and owls) and other birds. They are released back into the wild, if possible. If their injuries prevent them from a chance at survival in the wild, they are cared for in this beautiful facility. Since I am a VINS volunteer by teaching a nature program that they sponsor at Pipsqueak's school, we get a free membership, and we try to take advantage of it by visiting at least twice a year.

They have three programs a day where they talk about raptors and bring a few out so we can see them up close. Sometimes we're even treated to a display of flight. We got to see a Barred Owl...
a Red-Tailed Hawk...

a Kestrel....

and a Turkey Vulture.
After the program, we wandered the facility, including the frog and turtle room. The Snapping Turtle's shell must have been over twelve inches in diameter.The raptors are housed in roomy cages with trees growing in them to help them feel like they are in their natural habitat. The particularly photogenic ones on this trip, were the Bald Eagle...

and my personal favorite, the Saw Whet Owl, which only weighs about a quarter pound.

2 comments:

Tammie said...

what a neat place. i love the saw whet owl. how adorable.

Lorilee said...

That looks like a fun place. Especially since I love birds. I think Kestrels are especially beautiful.
Blessings,
Lorilee

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