My preserve partners on programs with a nature center three miles away that focuses on children's environment education. The nature center only has 10 wooded acres in the middle of suburbia, whereas I have 812 acres and a lot of diverse habitat.
A captivated crowd
Last Sunday afternoon, the nature center sponsored a falconry program in my grasslands. The falconer brought his Northern Goshawk/Harris' Hawk hybrid (Accipiter gentilis x Parabuteo unicinctus) to my preserve for a flight demonstration and question period. About thirty of the nature center's members enjoyed the show on the most springlike day of the year so far. The sky was a cloudless blue and temperatures were in the upper 50s.
Preparing to take flight
Caught in mid-flight
The falconer routinely trains and flies his two raptors in my grassland, so his hawk was familiar with the surroundings. The bird made two 10-minute flights and put on a good show.