Amy
ABOUT ME - My name is Amy and I'm a birder living in central Florida. On this blog I post book and birding product reviews as well as birder gift ideas and announcements related to my birder gift shop on this site. I also have a personal birding blog called Powered By Birds.

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Unless otherwise stated, all books and other products reviewed on this blog were purchased or independently acquired by the reviewer. Readers who make a purchase by clicking on links in product reviews or featured t-shirt posts (T-Shirt Tuesday) may result in the blogger receiving a commission or referral fee.
Archive: Illinois

Raptors as Education Ambassadors

Posted on March 20th, 2013 in Books, Florida, Illinois, Rehabilitation

Crossley ID Guide Blog Tour

Thanks for visiting this stop on the Crossley ID Guide Blog Tour! I hope you’ll enjoy this look at some raptors I have come to know personally. Check out the bottom of this post to find a chance to win a signed copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors.

The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is always to return the patients to the wild, but sometimes the injuries sustained by the animal are too severe. In the case of non-releasable birds of prey, life as an education ambassador may be in order. I am very lucky to be able to volunteer with a couple of great rehabilitation centers where permanently injured birds of prey are in residence. Let me introduce you to some of my feathered friends…

DARWIN the American Kestrel

Darwin

This is Darwin, a male American Kestrel. He is imprinted on humans and cannot be released into the wild. Darwin is the first bird of prey I got to meet up close and personal.

Darwin

It is always a joy for me to be able to handle a bird of prey on the glove like this. To see and study Darwin’s feathers up close is really special, and something I also love to be able share with others. During informal education programs, I have been able to talk with members of the public about birds like Darwin and the others in this post. I always hope that the time I spend sharing these raptors with interested people results in a positive impact on them and their outlook on birds, wildlife, and the environment in general.

Hopefully they come away with a new appreciation for birds — and they will seek them out in their future outdoor adventures. American Kestrels are found in both locations where I have had them in programs (northern Illinois and central Florida). Sometimes people are surprised to learn that these beautiful little raptors are indeed native to where they (the people) live, and that kestrels aren’t too hard to find. I love telling people where to look for kestrels and how to identify them.

Crossley-American-Kestrel-small
Click to embiggen

ZEN the Cooper’s Hawk

Zen

This is Zen, a male Cooper’s Hawk. He has a permanent injury to his right wing, making him unreleasable.

Zen and me

Cooper’s Hawks are notoriously high-strung — as bird-eaters (and so bird-chasers!) it is just in their nature. So Cooper’s Hawks are not often glove-trained. Bringing Zen to a program is always special. Cooper’s Hawks are common visitors to back yard bird feeding stations, but people sometimes overestimate their size. So it’s especially fun to share beautiful Zen with back yard birders.

Cooper's Hawk-small
Click to embiggen

PICASSO the Red-shouldered Hawk

Picasso the Red-shouldered Hawk

This is Picasso. Picasso is a male Red-shouldered Hawk, and I have not yet had the pleasure to handle him. I hope that will change soon! Picasso is missing his right eye, and has a permanent injury to his left wing.

Red-shouldered Hawks are abundant here in Florida. Even though they are common, people are sometimes surprised to learn some of their basic facts: they are monogamous; females are larger than males (as with most birds of prey); they typically weigh no more than 1.5 lb.

Crossley Red-shouldered Hawk-small
Click to embiggen

0511 the Red-tailed Hawk

0511

This lovely female Red-tailed Hawk is named 0511. She is also an imprint; she was found begging for food while perched on a car mirror as a juvenile bird. She is the first Red-tailed Hawk I was able to hold on the glove.

It is fun to speak with the public with 0511 on the glove. People relate to her, since Red-tailed Hawks are quite common. She is mostly correctly identified by passers-by — especially if I turn her around so her beautiful tail is visible. During programs, lots of people want to share their own stories about seeing Red-tailed Hawks in the wild. It is always fun to hear of their encounters, answer their questions, and encourage them to love raptors as much as I do.

Crossley Red-tailed Hawk-small
Click to embiggen

These are just a few of the raptors I have been able to meet up close and share with others. Of course, I love them all!

GIVEAWAY

Crossley ID Guide: Raptors

Thanks to Princeton University Press, I am excited to announce that I have a signed copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors to give away to one lucky reader!

To enter, just leave a comment on this post below. Be sure to include a valid email address where you can be reached in case you win the random drawing. I will use a random name selector to pick the winner on Wednesday, March 27th, so please have your comment entry posted by 12 midnight EDT Tuesday, March 26th.

THE BLOG TOUR CONTINUES

And after you’ve left your comment, be sure to visit the other great blogs participating in the raptor love-fest known as The Crossley ID Guide Blog Tour!

Yesterday the following blogs …

Greg Laden’s Blog and Birdfreak

… handed off to myself and today’s co-hosts …

Another Bird Blog and Radley Ice

… who next pass on the tour to tomorrow’s blogs …

BRDPICS; Thermal Birding; and NatureShare

The blog tour wraps up with a fun live online event on Friday. Click to learn more about the Raptor Happy Hour Shindig Event!

Thanks again to my readers for visiting this post. And a big THANK YOU to Jessica Pellien at Princeton University Press for arranging this mega raptorfest blog tour!

Event Alert: Dixon Waterfowl Refuge Ramar Dedication

Posted on July 29th, 2012 in Festivals & Events, Illinois

The Ramsar Convention of 1971 established a treaty between international governments to

maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance and to plan for the “wise use”, or sustainable use, of all of the wetlands in their territories.

As of today, there are 2,040 recognized sites designated by the treaty as Wetlands of International Importance. 34 of these are in the United States, including the Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes.

Dixon Waterfowl Refuge
Entrance to Dixon Waterfowl Refuge, March 2011

The deserved designation was bestowed in February of this year, and a special dedication ceremony will take place on August 8th.

The public is invited to attend the event, which is free. Attendees should RSVP to organizers; contact information and other details may be found here: Upcoming Events Ramsar Site Dedication.

Info: Starved Rock Bald Eagle Watch 2012

Posted on January 15th, 2012 in Festivals & Events, Illinois, Illinois Audubon

The annual Bald Eagle Watch at Starved Rock State Park is coming up later this month. I am posting this as a public service to all of the visitors who land on my blog looking for updated information about this event. You can find the details on the Illinois Audubon Society site, or read on.

Bald Eagle Watch Weekend
2012 Dates: January 28-29

Location: Starved Rock Lodge and Illinois Waterway Visitor Center
Admission: Free

Events include live raptor programs by the World Bird Sanctuary and the Illinois Raptor Center. There will be other vendors and programs at the event, which takes places at the two different spots noted in the map below. The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center is north of the river; Starved Rock is to the south. See the IAS Bald Eagle Watch Brochure for other events and further details.


View Bald Eagle Watch in a larger map

I’m sad I can’t attend this wonderful event this year. If you go, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for young Bald Eagles sporting leg bands!