Monday, June 27, 2011
26 June and there's much excitement mounting...
I know, I know. It's been far too long since my last post. To be honest, it's not my fault. Rather, the blame lies on Pot Plant Owl and Pappa for giving me nothing newsworthy to report here. A few visits during the week, but most often in the early hours of the morning when I'm half awake and not inclined to get out of my snug bed to say hello. Hopefully they get my telepathic messages...
Still, while I berate PPO and Pappa, it's actually easy for me to continue with my blog about all things close to me heart. And this is what I plan on doing to 'fill the gaps' while our owls decide their next move.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of holding Cody,a Spotted Eagle Owl in the Sun City Bird Park. Cody is captive-bred and forms part of the educational display and show there.
I spent a while talking to the manager, Dylan, and eventually convinced him that I wasn't a nutter that would do harm to Cody. Eventually, after much begging and pleading, Dylan agreed to let me hold one of the owls.
The following morning, I was up before the sparrows getting ready for the big moment. I say in all honesty that it was a big moment for me. Although I have had to handle a chick briefly before, I've never held an adult. If I tried to hold my arm out for Pappa or Pot Plant Owl to land on, I think they'd attack me for no other reason than I was being silly. Owls don't just land on people at will - easpecially not wild owls.
Just before the Bird Show, I was taken to the back enclosures, gloved up and given food in a waist pouch, to feed Cody. Cody's handler took Cody and gave Cody the command to step onto my arm.
The moment Cody stepped onto my arm, wings flapping close to my face as he gripped harder, I was in Heaven. The feeling of having Cody - a fully grown adult male Spotty - sitting on my arm, staring straight at me, was magnificent! Our faces inches apart, so close we could make out each other's 'markings' perfectly.
Feeding Cody requires a quick, firm hand, and I'm afraid I haven't mastered that - yet. As soon as Cody saw my other hand reaching into the pouch for a dead chicken, he lunged forward and tried grabbing my hand. The handler feared my reaction and took over the feeding. I didn't mind because it gave me more time to watch Cody grab the food and swallow the chick whole.
I must have spent a full 10 minutes on my own with Cody before our time was up. And it will be an experience that I will never forget. Thank you so much again, Dylan! You will never know what it means to share my life with owls, as we do here in our home, and never be that close to them to be able to hold them - once. It was indeed such an honour!