Back with the Hawks

Today was the first day volunteering at the Teton Raptor Center. As most of you know, I really like birds. I worked for a raptor breeder in Iowa last summer and plan on getting my falconry license eventually. It is difficult though with all the moving around I do. Fortunately I will be here in Jackson for quite a while and there is a raptor rehabilitation center a few miles away that I will now be volunteering with. Mostly the duties will be feeding the birds but there will also be opportunities to do presentation and educational talks which I am pretty interested in. Now working with the breeder you would think I would have plenty of experience handling hawks but that is not the case. It was breeding season and the birds were to be left alone. Here, at Teton Raptor Center, I will be able to handle the birds a lot because this place wants us to weigh the birds daily to keep their weight at a healthy level. Today I got to handle a Great Horned Owl and a Red Tailed Hawk. Both pretty cool animals. It didn’t take long to weigh and feed all the animals since there is only about 8 or so including a bald and golden eagle.

I didn’t really have anything else to do today so I had them teach me how to tie the falconers knot and clean the chambers (hawk room). One of them is working on putting together a skeleton of a Osprey so I helped her remove flesh off the bones for a while. It is a pretty tedious project she has going. It will be fun for people to see when she is done.

It should be a good experience volunteering out there. It will be great learning more about hawks so that some day I can get my own for hunting. My plan here is to rack up a bunch of hours so I can handle the eagles. That will be awesome.

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