Sunday, December 9, 2007

Car Bird Listing

It all started last summer with a PEREGRINE FALCON here in Annapolis that needed a lift in the Volvo, after swim practice. Soon after that monumental event, a BLUE JAY chick needed a ride in my Swedish Station Wagon, followed by a COMMON NIGHTHAWK. My car list, surprisingly, was at three species by the end of last summer.

Well this morning, just as I found a comfortable spot in my easy chair to enjoy my morning paper and some hot coffee, the phone rang. It was a nice woman who described to me how her husband noticed a very large hawk perched on a low fence post in her Edgewater, MD community. The bird didn't react to humans (or dogs), even at close range, so I figured that it was in need of some immediate assistance.

I've now added RED TAILED HAWK to the 'car list'. I'm up to FOUR species in the Volvo. Maybe it's because Volvo is such a safe ride? Or maybe you would rather just enjoy a few iPhone photos of the bird?

Emery assisted as I carefully handled the bird and got it ready for our unplanned trip to Virginia. We drove the dehydrated bird to the RAPTOR CONSERVANCY in Falls Church, where we were met by the nicest gentleman, Kent.

Kent quickly got the hawk hydrated and then told us about how it would be cared for over the next few days. I'll have more news by Wednesday about the bird's prognosis. Suffice it to say, without this morning's rescue, the bird would have died soon. That made Em and I feel good about our Sunday adventure.

The real thrill of the day was when Kent opened up his facility for us. Emery and I were treated to an extensive tour. Amazed, we were able to view, observe and enjoy up close (nose to beak close!) some of the most impressive birds on earth. Kent was very thorough, providing Em and I with details about each bird, while sharing his knowledge about their personalities and injuries. Best of all, he described how he uses these birds for education. Fantastic!

If you're looking for a good place to support this holiday season, I whole-heartedly suggest (urge) you DONATE to the Virginia Raptor Conservancy. What Kent and his facility does for injured raptors alone is reason enough for me!

I wanted to blog about my Saturday birding with Bill Hubick and John Hubbell, but today's events were too much fun. To tide you over, here are two photos of an immature RED HEADED WOODPECKER that we found in Prince George County!
Have a great week. I'll keep you posted on the status of the RED TAILED HAWK.

All the best,

Dan

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