Friday, May 22, 2009

This Week I Learned an Important Lesson

This past week I have been doing a lot of work with our hawks. One of our red-tailed hawks that I have been working with has been making good progress. I could not get him to take mice from my hand using a glove because he is so afraid of gloves. He came from a rehabilitation center where he was handled very roughly with gloves. So in order to get him used to the glove, I have been leaving his food on the glove so that he has to eventually eat from it. Now he takes his food right away, so soon I will try putting the glove back on my hand to feed him.

One of our other hawks is a broad-winged hawk, and today I learned to be very careful when opening and closing his enclosure. When we first got him about a year or two ago, he could barely fly. That's not the case anymore. Today I fed him and cleaned out his water bowl. I am always very careful going in his enclosure and making sure I shut the door behind me, but as I was closing the door today he flew past me and out the door. I did not have any gloves or a net with me to go get him, so I ran to get another keeper, Amy, who was about to start an animal presentation. I showed her where the hawk went because he couldn't fly to high, so he landed close by. She had me go do her animal presentation with Pinky, who is a 3 month old Dorset sheep. After the show, I ran back to find Amy and another volunteer in a thorn bush trying to catch the hawk. I felt horrible, and by the time I got to them and they were all scratched up, they had caught him. I definitely will never let anything like that happen again.

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