April 28, 2006

Rapt raptor rapaciousness

I (and friends at work) have become addicted to the live video feed (RealMedia, yuck) of a family of Red-tailed Hawks at MIT. Mom, Dad, two li'l ones, plenty of dead pigeons for lunch.

Mmm.

Seriously, though. I have an entire desktop of my four GNOME desktops devoted to this feed, which at 450K/sec can fill it up nicely. I keep wanting to scritch 'em on the head.

I once spent a summer volunteering at the Cornell University Raptor Research Laboratory, which at the time was in Ithaca NY on Sapsucker Woods Road (it has since relocated to the wide open spaces of Idaho). In between the hearty physical labor of mucking out an entire converted dairy barn worth of gravel-bottomed cages, I was privileged to be introduced to the world of falcons and hawks by a couple of the men who cared for them - and it was an incredible experience. Gyrfalcons, Peregrines, Red-tails, even an enormous Bateleur Eagle vulture from South America. Kestrels, Owls, and more in the rescue clinic. These are beautiful, deadly and somehow pure of form and function creatures. They're not that bright, but that's okay - they're not meant to be. They're streamlined in both shape and deed.

Posted by jbz at April 28, 2006 9:59 AM | TrackBack

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