I wrote a short story about Blake Hatfield and Vicki Orr a month or so ago. Blake has been helping out quite a bit at the Center and has taken time to write a bit about why and how he and Vicki got involved with Raptor Recovery. I'll be asking people to chime in by the blog from time to time. Hope you enjoy it! - Brad
To read Blake's thoughts in his words, hit the jump
One of the question I get ask a lot is “ How did you get involved with Raptor Recovery? “ I like to answer that question with a story about our first rescue.
One day Vickie and I headed out to check our Blue bird house’s. when we game up on an injured immature Bald Eagle. Not knowing how we could help this bird out, we called what was known as Crane Meadows Nature Center. Eric Volden answered the phone and gave us a number that got us in contact with Barb Tebble. She ask if we could keep an eye on it till she could get there. We said of course we can.
While we were waiting I looked at the other side of the ditch and notice what I thought was a turkey sitting on a nest. Vickie thought it was a big dark shelf mushroom, so to prove it Vickie got out of the car and started to walk towards it. Wish you all could have seen her face when the turkey raised her head.
Barb had also called Tom Tolen and they both arrived about the same time. When Barb got out of her car I thought to myself which one is bigger Barb or the Eagle? after a little discussion it was decided to try and surround it, but the Eagle had other thoughts and started to run. Barb yelled to run after it, so off I went through the slough getting wet up to my waist. After I finally caught up to the eagle it turn on to its back and stuck those talons up at me. Luckily for both of us Barb got there and put the net over him.
All three of us stood catching our breaths for what seem like forever before Barb picked up the bird and headed for the road. When we got back to cars I ask how someone would get involved with Raptor Recovery? Tom said “ you already are.
My very first raptor rescue happen years before I ever heard of Raptor Recovery. My step-dad and were out hunting one day when we came across an American Kestrel that had a broken wing . This was before cell phones, so we caught it and took it home before we called the local game warden. He did come and got it, but I have no idea what ever happen after that.
The first rescue that Vickie and I went on after joining Raptor Recovery was several young Barn owls in a grain bin. The bin was full of corn so I had to climb to the very top to be able to get inside. This is when I learned about the hissing sounds that they make when they feel threaten, also found out how loud they can be. I have to admit I was a little nervous and wondered what did I get myself into. I would catch one or two put them in my net then hand it the farmer who was hanging about half way up the ladder. Then he would hand it down to Vickie on the ground. She would put them in a box and hand the net back up till we got all 8 out of the bin.
This is just the first of several tales that we will post on the blog from Blake. I hope youenjoy keeping up with Blake and Vicki and the folks at Raptor Recovery.