September Already?!?!

Holy cow! It’s September!!!! I can hardly believe the summer is gone. Today is the last day of our summer schedule and our daily “formal” programs with the birds of the Greater Yellowstone Raptor Experience. Unfortunately, I’m still swamped for a bit longer, but luckily, Brandon decided to take a stab at blogging. Whew! He decided to share some personal stories about his work with the birds. Thanks, Brandon!!!

Brandon put on his "serious" face to write up some blogs.

Brandon put on his “serious” face to write up some blogs.

Howdy all! I’m going to write a blog for you for the heck of it. Thought it would be fun to share some personal stories involving some of the birds here at the Greater Yellowstone Raptor Experience.

One day during one of our programs, I was holding our peregrine falcon Haya.

Haya & Brandon Show (3)

We usually feed her in front of the crowd because they just love to see the feathers fly. (She must like it too, because she always goes crazy when people start cheering her on…) Well we must have been short of handlers that day because I had to hold her on the glove while I spoke. As I talked to the crowd and explained the peregrine falcon’s eating habits, Haya got to plucking the quail I had just given her to eat. Feathers were flying everywhere. Then she got to the meat.

Hunters Program (62) Contest

When Hayabusa gets particularly excited, she shakes her meal in her beak, which is exactly what she did. Meanwhile, I’m innocently carrying on educating the public, when what do you think came whizzing through the air into my mouth? That’s right folks, as Haya vigorously shook her quail, a piece came off and went whizzing into my mouth. The crowd witnessed a short pause of speech, followed by an audible “Hurk,” and a few coughs and splutters. They were shocked at first then laughed at my misfortune.

Haya CCC Shoot (86) Meat!

Needless to say, whenever anyone asks if the birds get good food, I can reply “Yes.” I can’t say I like it raw though…