This is the third time we’ve watched the World Bird Sanctuary’s live raptor show at the Illinois Audubon Society’s Bald Eagle Weekend, but this was by far the best for photography.
First up was probably our favorite raptor in the world, the Harris’s Hawk. This is Sheldon and he flew over the crowd’s heads, causing an eruption of “oohs” and “ahhs”.
All of the birds that were in the show are rehabbed birds and trained to be in front of the public. They are a great resource for educating and promoting bird conservation.
From where we were seated it was a bit difficult to catch the birds in flight. But Goblin, the Barn Owl made a few ghostly passes.
Of course, being a foot away from this gorgeous nocturnal bird made up for any photographic difficulties.
Another fascinating bird was the Bateleur an African serpent eagle. The power of this bird’s wings could be felt from across the room.
The star of the show was Patriot, a magnificent Bald Eagle and living proof of just how wrong Benjamin Franklin was in thinking a Wild Turkey would make a better national symbol.
We highly recommend everyone attend this or similar raptor shows. Having such powerful, beautiful birds fly so close their jesses* touch you is an experience like no other.
*thin straps, traditionally made from leather, used to tether a hawk or falcon in falconry