So close…. but no touchy, touchy!

So today was a fairly normal work day, at least until 2pm. 

Our special entertainment then was a presentation by a rare-bird rescuer. She’s from near Kansas City, but rural. Her and her husband have been caring for birds reascued from smuggling situations over the last several decades. 

She had lots of beautiful birds that made me go “squeee”. There were parrots and parrotlets, cocatiles, a toucan, AND an Eurasian Eagle Owl. OMG’s he was sooo beautiful!

OK, so can you tell my day perked up at that point? 

Aside: It was much needed considering I’m still battling round 2 of full body hives from my food allergies. The downside was it took very little of said food to cause it. The upside: it validated that Thai food is too much for my system to handle anymore. I ordered Thai Rama Chicken (chicken, broccoli, and red curry sauce), and only ate a third of the dish. Why I can eat bucket-fulls of mild seasoned Saag Paneer, but a tiny smidgen of Thai Rama Chicken sets my body afire is beyond me. I suppose it just is what it is. 

Anyway, back to the birds. I was doing my job and bringing in residents when I noticed the lovely owl. Then I was privileged to be the photographer for most of the presentation, enabling me to snap some pictures with my phone. I’ll show those in a bit. It was wonderful, she was well spoken, entertaining, great interacting with the audience, and her birds did many wonderful tricks. Several of the birds spoke quite a lot, enough to converse like a child. Then there was the parrot that whistled Dixie- I loved it!

In fact I love all big birds.

The owl was saved for last. She explained that it’s the largest owl species in the world and is related to the Great Horned Owl (my favorite of the U.S. big birds). She then explained that females are larger than males, and her male Eagle Owl was nearly double the size of a female Great Horned.

THEN she asked if there was a volunteer to help demonstrate his flying. I nearly yelled “Yes! I’ll do it!” I was so very excited.

Her instructions, hold his perch up and when she asked if I was ready to simply call his name “swoop”.  She stood at the far end of the room (about 50 feet away) and asked if ready, with her back still turned to me. I called his name and she turned around & let go. He flew straight to me with 3 wing beats. Landing on his perch right in front of my face.

My fingers were 3 inches from his razor sharp talons. He was so very big, yet lighter than my old lady kitty Priss. I looked in his beautiful eyes and was in awe. We weren’t afraid of each other, but I definitely understood his stern look of “don’t break the rules”. I could look but not touch. I told him he was very beautiful several times and felt my heart swell.

He was just amazing. I was so very close to such a large beautiful raptor. I wanted to reach out and pet him so badly.

 Alas, it wasn’t a good idea, I knew breaking the rules would result in consequences. So, I relished being so close and spent the rest of my day remembering every detail of him, with permagrin. 

I’m still enjoying the moment 5 hours later!

So now for the pictures:

Mmmm that was a wonderful day!
AND I just realized my blog post from January 10th was about finishing drawing a picture of this lovely Owl. (cue Twilight Zone theme song here) Mmmm, I wonder if my drawing helped manifest today. Perhaps I need to do many more drawings of things I love and want.

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