I mentioned earlier in the week that I went to a Birds of Prey event over the weekend and then I showed you Atka the wolf. Well, are you ready for some birds?
The event provided an opportunity to meet and greet with over 1000 birds. Insane, right? My original motivation to go was to do some field research and photography for a hawk quilt that has been bubbling around in my head for sometime.
Well, we walk into the event, which was outdoors, and I am immediately taken head over heels for this bald eagle. It was surreal to see him less than three feet away hopping, opening his wings, moving around, drinking water and doing eagle things. I felt a little star struck. And bald eagles are big. And they are so very pretty! This is arguably the best photo I got, but the out takes are funny too. I'll have to share those another time.
I also got to meet a Golden Eagle. I still can't get over the fierce look this bird wears! Must be the curved beak or the concentrated eyes. And this eagle was huge! I also have such a better appreciate for the coloring and texture of feathers. It's going to be a fun challenge to create realistic feathers from fabric and thread!
Owls are also considered a bird of prey. Looks like the same type of owl in the Harry Potter movies, doesn't it? Again, I am drawn to the amazing patterns in the feathers and even the spots on his cream legs. Stunning!
This is a red tail hawk which is the most common hawk that I see in the backyard, on the commute to work, and while hiking. Their creamy white chests are what make them the easy to spot in the winter when the leaves are off the trees. I am leaning toward making a quilt featuring a red tail.
This is a baby owl. I know. The cuteness factor is off the charts here. I believe this little guy was only about two weeks old. Hatched from an egg. And yes, he's hanging out in a baby playpen so we can all safely say hi and take a photo.
There were a number of rescued birds that were also residents of the place hosting the event. If I remember right this guy is a European owl. I am still marveling at his bright orange eyes and don't you just love his ears?
These guys also tipped the cuteness scale for me. And I love how social they seemed all huddled together like that.
This guy is either a barn owl or the barred owl. I can't remember now. But he was twisting his head from side to side as if posing very tough questions and demanding the truth and nothing but the truth (name that movie!). Love how I caught him mid twist!
And wrapping up with a few more red tail hawks. My new obsession. This hawk is over one year old. You can tell that by the fact that his red tail feathers are grown in and I believe after the first moult the back colors darken a little to that rich brown. This fella is a part of a falconry team and also had some very impressive bangles and talons.
And this is quite possibly my favorite hawk of the day. I got to speak to the lady who was working with and training this hawk. She is an Apprentice Falconer. It was really interesting to learn about the art of Falconry and that it is still actively practiced in the US and around the world.
I think this hawk is going to be the primary inspiration for my quilting.
I have a few sketches put together and I have started to isolate my browns and creams in a box together so I can get a sense on whether or not I have the right materials.
And I have to say that I have found my newest passion.
There is a reason I haven't been able to get a hawk quilt out of my head.
There is a reason I became aware of a call for entry for a Wings and Things quilt show.
There is a reason that I noticed the Birds of Prey event.
There is a reason I met and spoke with many falconers.
And, I looking forward to seeing where this all takes me!