Fourth Annual Richmond Raptor Festival

Today was the 4th Richmond Raptor Festival. August is a great time to be back in B.C. - lots of sunshine and happening events.

Held at Terra Nova Community Garden

One of the main events was the flying demonstrations by raptors from Pacific Northwest Raptors. It was a great chance to see (as well as photograph) the raptors up close and personal. The handlers(?) did a good job by keeping the whole thing entertaining and educational, despite the lack of co-operation from the birds themselves (probably due to the large crowd and/or the windy and warm conditions).

First were two Harris Hawks, also known as wolves of the sky for their gregarious social behavior in order to maximize their hunting success.

Harris Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)
Harris Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)

The second bird was a 14-week old Ferruginous Hawk that just started flying recently.

Handler retrieving it from long grasses when it decided to take a break there.

Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)

Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis). They are the largest hawk in North America typically found in wide open countries.

The third raptor was a Turkey Vulture and it spent of its times on the ground than in the air.

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura). Despite what most people think of them, I think they are such handsome-looking birds.

The last raptor was an exotic Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) named Arrow. It displayed the tremendous speed that falcons process and how it was used during hunting. Arrow actually made a short disappearance when it decided to take off to chase some of the wild birds around, which I thought was funny.

Arrow, the Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug)

Arrow, the Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug)
Arrow, the Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug).

After the show, the birds were retired to tents where they posed for photos.

Portrait of Arrow, the Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug)

Portrait of Arrow, the Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug)
Portraits of Arrow.

Tuari, the Harris Hawk.

The other interesting event was the display of injured raptors from Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (O.W.L.), which I attended a similar event last year at Richmond Nature Park.

Snoopy the Northern Saw-Whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus). Snoopy was found in a parking lot in Richmond with a head trauma and broken wing. It is non-releaseable and is now an educational animal.

Tyra, the Merlin (Falco columbarius)
Tyra, the Merlin (Falco columbarius). This was my first time seeing a Merlin up-close and I was surprised to see how small they are (second smallest falcon after the Kestrel), compared to the wild Merlin I saw earlier this year.

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
The third raptor was this Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). Beautiful.

Afterwards, my mother and I walked to the slough and looked around before heading to the city centre to do some errands.

Female Hooded Merganser by herself.

Eight-spotted Skimmer (Libellula forensis)
Finally got a closer image of the Eight-spotted Skimmer (Libellula forensis). This one looks like it has been through a lot.

Beautiful Sunflowers at the garden.

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