Yesterday, we went to work at the NCIOS Bird Club’s booth at the Starved Rock Eagle Days event sponsored by the Illinois Audubon Society. On our way there we saw six Red-tailed Hawks perched along the highway. It was sunny but very cold.
Me and the Wandering Bald Eagle - Photo by Birdfreak
When we got there we set up. Barbara Williams of the bird club (who is a taxidermist) was getting ready to mount an adult Red-tailed Hawk that had been found dead in a field. I helped explain to visitors part of the display that had a Red-tailed Hawk wing and foot and a Great Horned Owl wing and foot. It was fun to describe these parts to people especially seeing their surprise at the sharpness of their talons.
I watched Barbara skin the body of the bird and how she stuffed it. Halfway through watching, I felt nauseous and unfortunately that was it for me. I decided to hang out with this cool herpetologist that was there for a bit until I felt better. I got to hold a Ball Python and a giant cockroach. The cockroach was actually hissing at me and tried to crawl up my shirt.
Barb Williams handling the big crowd - photo by Birdfreak
I did get to see the raptor show done by the World Bird Sanctuary. They brought a Harris’s Hawk named Sheldon, a Bald Eagle called Patriot, a Barn Owl named Goblin, a Bateleur (from Africa!) and a lot more cool raptors.
The event was extra exciting because I was more than just a visitor. I got to meet a lot of cool people and learned a lot of new information about birds. I can’t wait to help out at another event like this.
Great Horned Owl and Red-tailed Hawk Foot - Photo by Birdfreak