Raptor Internship 2.0

This week the new classes of raptor interns started their 12-week course with Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation. I wrote about my experience on my own first day exactly one year ago: Raptor Internship Week 1.

Today I helped out a bit as the Saturday group had their first class, along with my new good friend Kim. We did some (icky poo) cleaning up after showing the interns six of FCWR’s education birds. I handled spry 0511 (Red-tailed Hawk), lovely large lady Pennsylvania (Great Horned Owl) shortly, and the distinguished senior Darwin (American Kestrel).

While I was waiting to “go on” with 0511 and Darwin, I waited in another room and took the chance to snap a few pictures with my Android phone.



Check out this extremely cool plumage adaptation in American Kestrels – a false face! As Darwin is looking the other way you can see his extra pair of “eyes” on the back of his head. The illusion of a face is even aided by the beak-shaped dark triangle in between the eyes. Pretty neat, right?

False Eyes

This plumage adaptation is found in other bird species, too. Mr. David Sibley writes more about false faces in birds here and here.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to help out each week of the internship. For most of the day today I was sure it was Tuesday, so that may be for the best. 😉

Share the birds, share the love!
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