Friday, January 20, 2012

Athena - The Goddess of Wisdom

Yesterday a co-worked and I had the chance to visit the Kennecott Nature Center of Murray. The director there is a good friend of ours, and she invites us both down once a year to do a presentation for visiting classes and then we all go out to lunch to celebrate our birthdays. :) It's just a fun excuse to get together, do some fun programming, eat and chat.

Yesterday was especially fun for everyone, as we had a new co-presenter.

 This is Athena, a Great-horned Owl. My co-worker houses and takes care of her because she is non-releasable. Her wing was broken several years ago and it didn't heal right which limits her ability to fly. So now she gets to live her life as an education bird.

Me and Athena. Those fun necklaces are part of our birthday celebration. :)
This was the first time I'd met her personally, so Kathy,  my co-worker let me do the handling. We are both permitted to handle education birds through the State of Utah and U.S. Fish and Wildlife.

Teaching kids about owl adaptations.
Kathy also houses a Peregrine Falcon which I've handled several times. And let me say, Athena is so much heavier than he is. Okay, maybe you wouldn't think 3.5 lbs is heavy, but just try holding it up for a while. It is. :)
Female birds of prey are about 1/3 larger than males. She's a big, beautiful girl.
She did great. Kathy said she never hoots, but to our great wonder, at one point she tried to fly off my arm and in the process let out a few low "hoo-hoo-hoo"s. It was very cool. The kids loved her. Who wouldn't? I mean, she's an owl after all.

I have a pretty good job.


Kim Nordyke said...

I'd have loved to hear her hoo. :)

Sybil said...

Oh to be that close to an owl ...

Oak in the Seed said...

I would like to follow you around and write about you and your job. That would be a great job for me and would serve us both! And, even more, the wildlife you protect and we both love.