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Raptors Delight 250

Screech owl and kestrel Ellena Pollack (L) and an Eastern screech owl and Karen Shumake (R) with a kestrel.

Around 250 raptor fans admired beautiful birds of prey at FODM’s annual Raptor Rapture on April 21, 2018, a beautiful, sunny day in Belle Haven Park.  Raptor Conservancy of Virginia experts brought an Eastern screech owl (Megascops asio), a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), a red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus), an American kestrel (Falco sparverius) and a merlin (Falco columbarius), all “rescue birds.” 

YoungsterPeople of all ages enjoyed the birds.The birds had been injured and cannot survive on their own.  Collisions with vehicles are common causes of injury.  Ellena Pollock, Karen Shumake and Searra Byrd from the Conservancy explained that raptors have hooked beaks, keen vision and powerful talons.  Most feed on rodents and other small animals.

FODM thanks National Park Service staff, Brent O’Neill, Miguel Robinson and Kelly Clark for partnering with us.

Photos for this essay were contributed by Glenda Booth.

Red-shouldered hawkRed-shouldered hawk

MerlinMerlin

American kestrelAmerican kestrel

PeltsYoungsters felt the animal pelts.

Screech owlEastern screech owl

Red-shouldered hawk and merlinRed-shouldered hawk and merlin