Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Wild Life. . .

It was hot and humid (for Utah, anyway), but we had a great time at Patti's. And lots of new critters to get acquainted with! Ben came to Patti's directly from doing an education show with some of his birds, so he had some we'd never met.

Shannon and I fell in love with Takal and Savannah, a macaw and a cockatoo. They both loved attention, and say some words in addition to the loud SQAUK that parrots are known for. He is very interested in that shiny silver necklace Shannon has on-

Both birds had spectacular coloring. Takal is in-your-face bright, with several shades of blue and turquoise, bright golden yellow, and some green. Savannah is a much more subdued creamy peach, with some yellow on her tail feathers.

Ben and Savannah have a little show they do, and they entertained us later in the evening. Savannah has a crest, which you can see in the next photo. She gets to talking, and her head bobbing up and down, and we were all on the ground laughing.

We helped Patti feed some of the birds. She had just gotten a baby Swenson hawk- you can see he still has downy feathers on his head. Bentlee helped feed him some meat- he was hungry!

There were also two birds I asked to be able to photograph up close. This harrier (hawk, I think) fascinated me the first time I saw him. He has a hawk body, but a small owl's head- his eyes are on the front, not the sides. The blue band is a splint for his broken tail feathers.

The other is the raven, aptly named DB Cooper because he is an escape artist. He also talks, but not when people are around. He has picked up some interesting phrases from Patti's teenage sons- "I didn't do it", for example. He loves water, and we got the hose in his cage to cool him off.

Patti is starting to take bears as part of her wildlife rehabbing. You don't get close to them, but I managed this shot of him through the fencing.

I spent some time with Takal on my leg, having an interesting conversation. I tried to get some photos of him up close, and he was fascinated with my camera. I got a lovely blurry shot of him going after my lens with his beak wide open! This is the best shot, you can see his wonderful coloring.

Lastly, Shannon got out the young (descented) skunk that Patti now has on an education permit. He is just so cute!

Good food, good friends, what better way to spend a hot summer evening!

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