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View Diary: Dawn Chorus Birdblog:  Talkin' 'Tails (101 comments)

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  •  Your watercolor "study" is wonderful! (12+ / 0-)

    Redtails, along with golden eagles, kestrels and legions of baby barn and horned owls, were the most "common" of the raptors we took in at at the local wildlife rehab center.

    A beautiful darker plumaged red-tail named Jamaica came to us a fledgling, impounded by CA Fish and Game from an unlicensed falconer, She and I "flew" together almost daily while I worked there. Jamaica recently died at the ripe old age of 27.

    There's a tiny apostrophe-shaped scar above my right eyebrow from one of Jamaica's talons, received during one of her pissier moods while she was "nesting" - she never had a mate but laid a clutch of eggs every spring anyway.

    I stepped in front of her screeching dive at another person who had mistakenly entered her enclosure, she banked at the last second to avoid hitting me and grazed my forehead ever so lightly as she turned. The wound still needed about 10 tiny stitches to close but I wear the scar proudly.

    Some of Jamaica's flight feathers are among my most treasured family heirlooms.

    •  Wow (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, lineatus, Melissa J, whaddaya

      Now that's a story to remember!

      "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!"

      by Kestrel on Sun Oct 10, 2010 at 12:23:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My favorite story about Jamaica isn't really a (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kestrel, Kevskos, lineatus, whaddaya

        story...it's just the way I felt as she would fly to me or sit on my gloved hand and nestle her body against mine or listening to her cluck and chatter to me as we spent time together as the years rolled by.

        Also amoung my favorite Jamaica tales, though nowhere near as dramatic as the story I told in my original comment, is the time Jamaica and I were at a local street faire/festival doing an ed program. A small crisis arose with another critter that required my immediate attention.

        I was holding a jessed Jamaica talking to the various passersby while my then very new boyfriend (now husband) hung out with us. With no time to find a volunteer from the center to hold her while I took care of the other critter, I gave him an extra glove and handed him the rope line and Jamaica and told him just to stay put, that she would be fine with him. Jamaica accpeted him immediately and stayed on his fist as calm as could be. She hadn't worked with anyone else but me in over two years and could be a bit feisty if she wasn't happy.

        After about five minutes I came back to find the both of them surrounded by a small crowd of people who were raptly listening as my new boyfriend (who had never been close to a hawk before, let alone hold one) chatted about our center where he had only just recently visited for the first time, sharing some of my stories that he had been hearing from me in the few weeks we'd been dating.

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