Last Saturday we visited the Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona, California located in Eastern San Diego County. This wonderful non profit research and educational organization offers a Hawk Watch on Saturday mornings. This entertaining and informative watch is completely free, and brings a large crowd, so be there a bit before 10 a.m. for parking. Every Saturday is different, but involves a number of captive birds brought in by handlers, not to mention the numerous wild hawks flying around the large open property – I would highly recommend it if you are in the area – I know I learned a lot!
Above is a photo of a handler with a Gyrfalcon, below is another handler training a Peregrine Falcon as it tries to grab a piece of food swung in the air on a cord. These birds are amazing to watch in flight, and in the wild have been clocked at an incredible 240 miles an hour! During another point during the watch a handler had a Harris Hawk flying just feet above our heads as it came in for food.