Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Birds

We had a delightful Valentine's Day. Our friend Wes, who is a 4-H member from way back, spoke to the gathering. It's an annual gathering of 4-H kids from all over Alabama. They get together and for a leadership conference where they discuss projects, network, and have a little fun.
We met some remarkable kids last night. They were full of enthusiasm and ready to get out into the world and make a difference.
After we ate and Wes delivered his speech, we went back to the rooms and played old love songs late into the night.
This morning as we got ready to leave our host asked if we wanted to tour the mew. I wasn't sure what the mew was, but the tours we had of the other facilities were cool so we said sure.
We learned from Becky (the woman responsible for care of the birds) that a mew is the facility in which birds are housed. She introduced us to a vulture, a horned owl, a couple of hybrid owls, and a red tailed hawk (pictured above).
She asked us to be seated in the show area so Wes and I sat on one bench; Jilda and Deidra sat on a bench ten feet across from us.
She let the hawk out to get some exercise and it flew around to some perches in the show area. When Becky called the hawk, it dove off a tool shed and swooped down within two feet of the ground and flew between. I tried several shots before catching the bird in mid-flight. It was a magnificent creature.
Becky graduated from Auburn and landed the job with the 4-H Convention Center caring for the birds. She spends a great deal of time with school children across the state doing seminars and exhibitions with her birds.
After about thirty minutes with Becky, it's obvious that she loves her work and it was gratifying to spend a little time with her and the birds.

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