Today was the second of our Valentine's Day Eagle Tours. This was a rowdier crowd, but a fun crowd. The morning started out beautiful, one of those "ah, this is the reason why I enjoy winter"

The view just outside The Raptor Center this morning.

We made a side trip to see the gyrfalcon, and got completely skunked on that. However, the eagles at Colville Park put on quite a show: flying and diving for fish. There was one young female eagle who kept trying to boss around all the others on the ice, she seemed full of piss and vinegar.

Oh, and for the tour participant who scoffed at my holding my digital camera to Amber's spotting scope:

I took this photo of seven eagles. Digi scoping does work. These may not be award winning photos, but they work for souvenirs or sometimes even documenting rarities.

We had an older couple sitting behind me that kept cracking me up, partly with his jokes my favorite being, "When you're hunting, how do you attract rabbits? Make noise like a carrot." Plus they had that wonderful banter of a couple that's been married almost too long.

Another fun story was a guy who decided to take his lady friend on a unique first date. Most first dates are dinner, drinks, maybe a museum. This guy told the lady of his affections that he wanted to take her to hear the owls in Roseville. Now, I think this is a gutsy move. First, you're taking a lady for a first date out into the middle of the woods after dark. Birders I'm sure would think, "yes, how romantic" normal people would think "uh oh, ax murderer". When they finally get down the dark ravine to hear the barred owls, he begins hooting. A birder would probably critique the hooter on his accent and cadence. A normal person would think, "hm, does this person need an appointment at Hazelden?" Well, all will be happy to know that the owls answered the young man back, the lady was impressed by his ability to talk to the owls and they are still a couple. Ya gotta like that, a guy takin' a risk and gettin' the girl, all through the power of birds.