Meeting the raptors in the WSU rehabilitation program has become a bright spot of our visits. Last month we met the blind Golden Eagle. This time we met Widget, the Barn Owl and Everett, the American Kestrel. Even though we live on the prairie and see hawks a plenty, we've never had the opportunity to meet these birds in an up close and personal manner. One may not realize how beautiful they can be.
Widget doesn't care for big dogs we were told. I think his body language would confirm that as he eyed Bacchus while his handler was educating me. All the birds that come into the program are injured. Many are returned to the wild but those who can not be rehabilitated to that point are used for educational programs. Socializing them, I would suppose, includes these visits to the hospital waiting room.
They run tours of the raptor facility every other Saturday. What a great outing for kids. Heck, it would be a great outing for anyone who would like to know more about these beautiful guys. I've found, just as with our fish, they have personalities all their own. It certainly brings home the point of why we're there in the first place. No matter how imperfect it may be, there is tremendous value in life.