Monday, February 20, 2012

Radford Roosting Festival

Saturday morning, February 18, was a splendid day to be out looking for birds!
About 25 folks joined Clyde Kessler to listen and look for them in Wildwood.
The group saw and/or heard 25 different species including yellow-rumped warblers, bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, towhees, cardinals, blue jays, crows, woodpeckers (A pileated one stayed in view for several
 minutes as it flew from trees to the ground and back.), robins, wrens, song sparrows, 
phoebes, white-breasted nuthatches, a junco, a mourning dove, and flying high above our heads:
a red-tail hawk, a turkey vulture, and an immature bald (probably) eagle!

Activities for the Festival continued at McHarg Elementary School on Saturday afternoon.

Youngsters enjoyed making treats to hang outside for birds, making their own bird books, 
and dissecting owl pellets, as well as other fun activities.

Veterinarian Philip Bailey and his wife rescue injured wild birds and brought
a few of them to show the audience. In the above photo, he is holding an American kestrel, 
which is a falcon that is about the size of a blue jay.

The man with the camera who is talking to Dr. Bailey while he holds a barn owl is
Kyle Green, a photographer with the Roanoke Times.
The barn owl is one of Dr. Bailey's hunting birds.
You might want to try to find out more about falconry and the sport of hunting with birds.

As Kyle Green lifted his camera to get a shot, the bird turned its head 
all the way around to look at me and my camera. I was amused 
because animals usually turn their face away from me as soon as
I get my camera ready for a good shot!

This little screech owl had been injured and rehabilitated by the Baileys and
was ready to be released back into the wild. It was taken outside to the edge of
the woods behind McHarg.

It fluttered it wings.

And then flew to a nearby tree.

I was very pleased to see how well it was camouflaged among the brown leaves
still in the tree that it chose. That should help it have a better chance to survive.

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