Hawks Steal the Show

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Earth Day in Boulder's Central Park kicked off with live music and over 20 booths, many of which were educational.  Ecocycle, Boulder Parks and Rec, and the Environment for the Americas(Ho

Earth Day in Boulder's Central Park kicked off with live music and over 20 booths, many of which were educational.  Ecocycle, Boulder Parks and Rec, and the Environment for the Americas(Home of International Migratory Bird Day) were among the interesting displays. 

 

The crowd went wild for the Hawk Quest booth and presentation. At the booth I talked to Mary Jo Sumrall, who was holding a great horned owl who was hit by a car and rescued in 2002. She told me that after the live music was done performing, that the Hawk Quest group would be doing a presentation! I was really excited to see it because when my 6th grade class went to Outdoor Lab,  the Hawk Quest gave a lecture/presentation that we were able to experience.  

 

When the presentation started,  Kin Quitugua(the founder of Hawk Quest), who has been training and helping abused birds for over 30 years, brought out a Harris Hawk. These hawks are known as "the wolves of the sky". He gave very interesting facts about them. For example, he said the females are bigger, stronger and smarter than the males, they live in colonies, and they catch their pray with their claws!

 

Next, they also brought along a great horned owl who had the expression on his face, 'I want out'! When the owl kept moving its head around, Kin explained that this was called triangulation. This is when an owl moves it's head up and down because the ears are in different spots which are listening for high and low pitches.  He also pointed out that nighttime birds (like owls) see in black and white, and daytime birds like falcons see in color! The third bird that was brought out was the red tailed falcon. I remembered that that was the bird I got my picture with at Outdoor Lab!

 

The audience was thrilled when "helpers" were chosen to display the incredible wing span of the birds on display.  Another amazing thing was that the red tail hawk was released to fly above, in front of,  and just over the crowd!  Before the bird took off, Kin warned the audience to have all dogs out of the area, or the hawk would go after them!  But the bird was well trained and flew right to Kin with the tap of his chest and a bacon reward!  He said that the birds will come back simply because a treat was offered.

 

 

The intriguing presentation wrapped up with when one of their three bald eagles was brought out! He gave some background information about the eagle and gave some lucky people the chance to get their picture taken with it!

 

For more information or to have Hawk Quest visit your school visit www.hawkquest.org