i love raptors

Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting some very nice birds of prey. The vet program here is pretty big, and part of it includes tending to injured wild birds that people bring in. Some are able to go back into the wild, and some have been there for years. This first one is an American Kestrel, and if you can't tell that's a mouse (that she has devoured) in her grasp.
Usually, owls are a bit creepy to me, but this little Saw Whet Owl was one of the cutest things I've ever seen. If you ever get the chance to see an owl's eyelids you should take it. They are covered in tiny feathers.

They all had fabulous names that I can't remember now, but I know this handsome Golden eagle was named "Friend" in Latin. This guy had been around for a long time because he is blind in both eyes. They have to set up the items in his home exactly the same everyday so he remembers how to get around. It was amazing to see such a large bird up close, and I was completely blown away by the size of his feet, which were probably the size of my hand. If I were a small rodent, I would not want to be tangled up in those things.

My little point and shoot was a bit inadequate in this situation, but I sort of like how this blurry one turned out anyway.

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