Your Delta Nats had another awesome Display today (Sun. Aug. 26) at the Richmond Raptor Festival at Terra Nova Park. We (Jennifer, Donna, Alan and me) set up our hands-on Display at 9:30 a.m. and there were people, including lots of kids, lined up all day to see, touch and colour our stuff; right through to shut down at 4:00 p.m. Rich Kenny, the Richmond Parks organizer, said there were 450 people at the first of three Falconry Shows, so there must have been 800 to 1000 visitors during the whole day. Kitty and Anita joined us during the day for stints in our Booth. And Ken & Anne, and Roger and his two grandkids, dropped by to take photos, which I hope we will see soon on our DNCB Picasa and/or our Blog sites.
It was really amazing to watch your Delta Nats volunteers inter-acting with and educating both the parents and kids as they perused all the neat stuff we have. And there was a line-up to sit in the three chairs we had at our very popular “crayon colouring table”.
I think all our Nats had fun too. Everyone got to see the half-hour Falconry Show, but some did not see the Bald Eagle because it took off at the first show and didn’t come back. OWL gave a Presentation at 11:30 a.m. which Alan said was very interesting. David Hancock gave a Presentation at 2:30 p.m. which was brilliant. There are now 58 active Bald Eagle nests in Delta and over 300 in the lower Mainland. We chatted with the folks at the other 9 booths (e.g. Nature Vancouver, Wildlife Rescue, Green Club, Sofi Hindmarch’s Owl Study display, OWL, David Hancock’s Eagle Display, etc.). But our Booth was the best (I’m prejudiced).
Next Nats Display Outing is “Day at the Farm” on Westham Island on Sept 8. Contact me or Terry Carr to volunteer, and have more fun.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
Addendum by Anita D:
I had the good fortune to view the last Raptor flight show at 3:30 p.m. It was fascinating.
The Bald Eagle had returned after about an hour. He was shown toward the end of the 3:30 raptor demonstration, but was not given another chance to escape.
The Turkey Vulture is not really a raptor, as these birds lack the strength of talons required to capture live prey. Instead, they feed on dead animals. Their systems are admirably suited to destroying any bacteria, parasites, et. al. which carrion may have. (Tom: I found it very interesting how Turkey Vultures “crap” all over their legs and feet because the scat kills germs that infest the carrion.)
Lady Grey, the Peregrine Falcon who flew last, gave us a good demonstration of her speed. Peregrine Falcons are the fastest birds ever clocked – up to 320 km/h in a “stoop” (dive)!
The Harris Hawk (female) who flew first gave us a varied display. In the wild, the female Harris Hawks command a coterie of males who do the hunting (often on the ground, flushing out prey such as rabbits), and then the spoils are set upon by all.
Quite an impressive display of birds and their handlers!
Anita Den Dikken