Sunday, August 4, 2013

It's a Hoot!

My granddaughter, Brooklyn, and I share a few things in common.  We both love her Dad, my son Rob, we're both left-handed, and we both love owls.

When her family was visiting us in Lethbridge this week, she and I went to the Coaldale Birds of Prey Centre.  It's a wonderful place, full of birds in varying stages of recovery from injuries and accidents, and a sizable aviary of owls, hawks, eagles, and other birds of prey who, for some reason or other, are unable to be released to the wild.  Never having been there before, I wasn't sure we'd see an owl at all.  However, as soon as we walked in and paid our entrance fee (which goes for the upkeep of the birds) the hostess leaned down to Brooklyn and whispered to her, "Would you like to hold an owl?"  Her face just lit up like a Christmas tree at the prospect of actually touching one of her favorite things!  I must admit I was excited to be able to hold him too.

This little guy's name is Basil.  He's a burrowing
owl. He was just running aroundthe gift shop and the hostess picked him up and have him
to Brooklyn.

Of course I had to get in on the action too, but Brooklyn didn't leave
Basil's side.
 Then we went out on a self-guided tour of the grounds.  The first thing we came to was the owls.  The one behind Brooklyn in this picture is Gordon, a great horned owl, which we discovered is the Provincial bird of Alberta.  We got such a kick out of Gordon.  He interacted with us by doing a silly little head dance for us, bobbing his head up and down, side to side and looking quite comical.

Brooklyn and Gordon

Farther along there were quite a few pairs of little burrowning owls.  They
are so cute.  We were told that they are an endangered species now.
We fell in love with the sleepy-eyed barn owl named Edgar.
We'll see more of him later.

There were beautiful eagles and hawks to be seen.  This is a bald eagle staring at us.

And so is this one

 Brooklyn particularly liked this eagle.  There was a sign on the lawn in front of it thanking the company her Dad works for for their generous donations to the Centre.

A Hawk

And another sweet-faced burrowing owl.
 And here's our friend Edgar again.  Another staff member asked us if we would like to hold him so of course we jumped at the chance.  It's remarkable how calm these birds were, and how light.  They have small bodies but very full feathers.  Edgar liked having his tail stroked.
Brooklyn sure looks like she's enjoying herself doesn't she.  

And of course I needed a piece of the action too.
 When we got home Brooklyn wanted to teach me how to make lizards out of pony beads so after we made a few of them, I decided we could probably make owls too.  If you look closely you'll see four pony bead owls and three plastic melted bead ones.

It was a lovely way to spend a misty damp day with a special little granddaughter.  Thank you Brooklyn.


Mickey said...

Loved that little cutie Basil!
Lucky you and Brooklyn to be able to hold them! Very exciting!
Nice pic of you too Pat in your bright (new)? yellow jacket!

doodles n daydreams said...

Hi Pat, How exciting for Brooklyn to be able to hold the owls. I love birds of prey, particularly hawks and falcons. While we were in Japan we went to a public garden where there were owls flying around (in the aviary). We could go inside with them but couldn't hold them. One of them had us laughing by interacting and mimicing my sons head movements. So intelligent.


Lacintha said...

Beautiful pictures, Pat....what a special experience for you both.

JQ said...

Wow! Great pictures. I can't believe we've never gone there.

Delena said...

What a fun outing for you and Brooklyn (which by the way I love her name)!

Granny Annie said...

I am amazed! Who would dream you could actually hold these wild birds? Will they be able to release them back into the wild at some point or have they become too domesticated? What a joy for both of you and then to commemorate the day in beaded owls to have remembrances of the experience.

Chatty Crone said...

That is very exciting to see and hold those birds up close. Owls are very in right now! My niece loves them too. sandie

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed it to! -Brooklyn