Peering at Raptors

GABE BARNARD

On Tuesday, November 24, Senior Lauren Carr craned her neck to see different types of raptors first-hand during a presentation from guest speakers in Anthony Deets’s fifth period zoology class.

“[The presentation] was to learn about how [the raptors] actually are in real life versus what we just hear on the internet and in textbooks,” Carr said.

An organization called Wild Wings Environmental Education provided the guest speakers as well as the four birds that were shown to the class.

“I thought it would be really interesting to see all of the live birds because we have seen pictures of them throughout the year and it would be cool to see them in person,” Carr said.

The raptors presented included a Swainson’s hawk named Miles, a Great horned owl named Sophie, an American kestrel named Cache and a Red-tailed hawk named Karma.

IMG_2985“I learned that the wings are a lot different on many birds,” Carr said. “I didn’t know that owl’s wings are so quiet and soft whereas raptor’s wings are more loud and rough.”

Carr was the most fascinated with Sophie the Great horned owl because of what she learned about the owl’s eyes.

“I think the coolest thing was the owl’s eyes,” Carr said. “I learned that their eyes adjust to light really quickly and that it is a voluntary action so [the owls] can decide when they want their pupils to dilate.”

Another interesting part of the presentation was the fact that one of the guest-speakers had a special connection with one of the birds that she was handling.

“[The woman] was the owner to one of the birds and they would go hunting together so whenever she would call its name it would fly over to her and they had a bond,” Carr said. “The thing that surprised me was that the bird who had a relationship with the woman actually responded to her. I didn’t think raptors had that sense of communication.”

The presentation helped Carr and her fellow classmates to better understand raptors and other birds of prey for the conclusion of the semester.

 

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