I Needed Today

I was feelin' a tad stressed yesterday. Some of it travel related, some of it scheduling related, some of it money related, some of it deadline related, some of it work related, some of it book related--blah, blah, blah, blah, BLEH. It was to the point where I was even having trouble sleeping, where you wake up in the middle of the night and have even more irrational worries like, "I need to lose ten pounds." or "Am I going to have time to buy pickles and a baguette before Thursday?"--just ridiculous crap. And then I had today and realized that in the end, life is really cool.

I had my shift at The Raptor Center today.

First up, injured peregrine falcon number 568 is doing really well! She was very feisty when I took this photo right before her examination this morning. Her pins are out and her bone has healed.

Alana, who was her original vet has left The Raptor Center--it's a teaching hospital so there is a steady rotation of vets. The peregrine is now in the care of Dr. Mitch (in green on the left, who has been at The Raptor Center all of 9 days). Today, Dr. Julia Ponder (Executive Director and Vet) also checked on the peregrine with Dr. Mitch to make sure that the healed leg fracture was stable.

The doctors tested both legs to make sure that the fracture healed properly and that the leg wasn't sticking out at an odd angle. After that, Dr. Mitch and Dr. Ponder gave her a sort of falcon pedicure, by sloughing off any tape or medication residue on her toes. The big news is that the healed fracture looks stable and after the Thanksgiving Holiday, our injured falcon will be moved to a flight room with other peregrines--hopefully she will get along with the other peregrines in there and get used to moving around in a larger space! If all goes well, she will move on to flight training. What great news!

As if that wasn't great news enough, I got to give an All About Owls program. Most of the time at The Raptor Center I do a general Raptors of Minnesota program but periodically, groups will request something specific like owls, falconry, eagles, or just about anything. It's fun to break out of the routine. The group was very into it and there was 5th grade boy who knew almost all the owls that I brought out. The only one he missed was the above bird. He called it a ferruginous pygmy owl. Even though the bird is actually an eastern screech owl, I gave him props for even knowing that there is such a species as a pygmy owl.

After the program I got a chance to feed our education barn owl on my gloved hand. There's something relaxing about having a bird feel comfortable enough to eat while perched on your arm, you can't help but feel honored. It's also a fun opportunity to observe the birds at close range. I love getting lost in the stiff feathers on an owls facial disc.

All in all, not a bad day.