May 7, 2007

Spring Raptor Release

Bald EagleThis weekend, The Raptor Center had its Spring Raptor Release at Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings, Minnesota. We had a chance to see some of the eagles, hawks, falcons and owls that are permanent residents at the center due to injuries that prevent them from living in the wild. They are education raptors and are used to teach groups about birds of prey.

Ken Speake, Spring Raptor ReleaseWe also saw the release of 4 raptors that had been treated for injuries and were able to leave the center. If you click on the above picture, you can get a good look at that eagle's expression. I love that look, "What the...?!" They are getting ready to hand him over to Ken Speake, a much loved local t.v. news reporter who recently retired from KARE 11. Ken released the eagle, and it flew off to cheers from the crowd.

raptor releaseThese release picture were taken about 150 feet (45 meters) away from the stage using the 10x optical zoom on my Olympus SP-510 UZ. Although there weren't any Harris Hawks like the ones at our hawk walk, we had fun seeing the Red Tailed Hawks and other birds of prey.