Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 04/10/2015

Photo taken on July 20, 2014

See also...


Great Horned Owl
Bow Valley Provincial Park
Bubo virginianus
W of Calgary
feather detail
from Coaldale Birds Of Prey Centre
side view
bird of prey

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The finest of feathers

The finest of feathers
On Sunday, 20 July 2014, I plucked up courage to do a drive that I’d never done before. I had been that particular route once before that I can think of, when I carpooled with others. A good part of the drive was in familiar territory, but I’d never driven the last part of the journey myself. I had met my daughter at 9:00 a.m. and we were both eager to see a display of birds of prey that had been brought up from the Coaldale Birds of Prey Centre.

On display were a Burrowing Owl, a Barn Owl, the beautiful Great Horned Owl in the above photo, and a Golden Eagle. Another real treat that was an amusing one, was seeing a baby Barn Owl that was just 45 days old! This little ball of fluff was acting as a great ambassador, letting young kids get a close view and ask questions, and fall in love with it – and to hopefully, in the future, do everything they can as adults to protect our precious wildlife. The enjoyment of seeing these birds up close reminds one that the reason these birds are not free to live in the wild, is because of some kind of interaction with humans – such as permanent injuries from being hit by a vehicle, pesticide use, or even worse, being shot by a human! This is what happened to “Spirit”, the magnificent Golden Eagle, shot and blinded by someone. Sadly, Spirit passed away fairly recently, after serving as a very popular Wildlife Ambassador..

This exhibit was our first destination in the park, though on the drive from Calgary, we had stopped at the small McDougall Church at Morley. After seeing and photographing the birds of prey, we then drove to Middle Lake that’s in a different part of the park. We walked the very short distance to the edge of the lake, but didn’t walk around it. From there, we drove to Many Springs Trail and did a very slow walk around the lake, stopping to look at different flowers and photograph a few butterflies. Certain wildflowers were already finished, including various Orchid species, but there were still plenty of other species to see and enjoy. Even the weather cooperated, though the forecast had been for isolated showers. Not too hot, nice clouds in the sky and lovely to have my daughter’s company for the day.

Thanks so much to the people down at the Coaldale Bird of Prey Centre (near Lethbridge, down towards the Canada/US border) for bringing some of your gorgeous birds of prey for us to see! I have been south to the Centre three times I think, and always long to go back again, but it's not somewhere I can drive to, so this was a much-appreciated treat!