Met Three Raptors on Thursday

I facilitated a lecture at the Davis library on the 20th, with a representative from West Coast Falconry.

CLICK HERE to see the full album of photos.

The talk was led by a young woman named Amber, who brought three birds. Amber had somehow gotten the time frame mixed up, and arrived at the library at 4:30 pm… the lecture didn’t start until 6:30 pm. So when I got to the library, the bird boxes were already set up on a table in the front of the room, and one of them was squawking. I learned later that it was a young, hormonal, male Great Horned Owl named Tigger. Just a little over one-year-old he was still making baby “feed me” calls, expecting Amber to give him treats. Hah!

His calls were pretty loud, and other people in the library kept stopping by the room to see “what is making that sound?”

Despite the minor snafu at the beginning, the lecture itself was excellent. Amber talked about falconry as well as providing attendees with detailed information on the birds she’d brought with her: Cubby, a male Peregrine Falcon; Cora, a dark-morph female Red-Tailed Hawk; and, of course, Tigger, the Great Horned Owl.

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Mary K. Hanson is a breast cancer survivor who, at age 61, took coursework to become a Certified California Naturalist. The author of “The Chubby Woman’s Walkabout”™ blog, Ms. Hanson has also written nature-based feature articles published in regional newspapers, authored over ten books, including her "Cool Stuff Along the American" series of guide books, and has had her photographs featured in books, articles, calendars, on the American River Parkway Foundation’s Instagram stream, and even the White House blog. This year Ms. Hanson is helping to launch and teach a new Certified California Naturalist course through Tuleyome, in partnership with the University of California and the Woodland Library, so members of the public can themselves become certified as naturalists in the state. All of the photos seen on her website were taken by Ms. Hanson herself (unless noted otherwise) with moderate- to low-end photographic equipment more easily affordable to the everyday nature enthusiast. She also occasionally leads photo-walks through the American River Bend Park for the public and is sometimes available for public speaking.