Raptors Up Close And Personal At JHMR

Great Horned Owl.

hood-keeps-them-calmI’ve always thought two things about the birds of prey I see flying around Jackson Hole, mostly around the riparian areas when I’m floating the Snake River. The first being that if I was to be reincarnated as an animal in my second life (cuz I sure hope I get more than one shot), it would be cool to be an eagle, hawk or falcon, and soar across the sky, riding thermals and seeing the world from above. The merlin-is-the-smallest-raptorsecond thing I’ve always thought was that a raptor would be a very cool pet to have. Not only for shock value, but also because they are allowed in our national parks and could fly along during backcountry ski trips and other mountain adventures, meeting you at the top and not having to worry about it crossing your tracks on the way down. :)

Redtail Hawk.

raptor-travel-condoNow honestly, I know this is a pipe dream, but there is nothing wrong with dreaming either. Luckily though, the Teton Raptor Center (check out their Wilson Osprey Webcam) and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort make it easy for us to seegrey horned owl feathers-up-to-second-knuckle these amazing creatures up close in their Alive at Five series, which starts at 5pm every Wednesday through August. RandoMom is in town for a few days and I thought this would be a great thing to do after her long flight to JH, so we went out to Teton Village yesterday to see the birds and learn more about them. Some interesting facts about raptors:

jason-jones-and-peregrine-falcon?The Great Horned Owl is the largest raptor.
?Peregrine Falcons can reach speeds up to 220-240 mph when they dive-bomb and can fly up to 75mph.
?The Merlin is the second smallest raptor.
?Owl feathers curl at the ends for stealthiness.
?Mating couples do not necessarily pair for life…a common misnomer.
?A Grey Horned Owl’s feathers are 1-2″ thick.
?Raptor talons are very flexible and can curl up and touch their legs.
?You can support and donate to the Teton Raptor Center…here.

Support TetonAT and check out raptors and mountain routes with the light
and compact Brunton Echo Zoom Monocular from Backcountry.com.


13 Responses to “Raptors Up Close And Personal At JHMR”

  1. 1 randosteve Jul 15th, 2010 at 6:15 am

    check out this video that talks about the speed of the peregrine falcon. supposedly there is a video out there that shows the falcon fly alongside a plane…but i couldn’t find it.

  2. 2 Hollis Brooks Jul 15th, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Hey Steve- Hope all is well. I saw a peregrine snatch a cliff swallow out of mid air, off the bow of my raft, at the bottom of Westwater Canyon (not far from where you and Lucius got your WFR that time!) Killer sight.

  3. 3 randosteve Jul 15th, 2010 at 8:51 am

    thanks hollis! that’s rad you got to see that raptor kill. i’m amazed at how often i see bird with fish in the talons on the river. it;s a pretty regular sighting.

  4. 4 Brad Samuelson Jul 15th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I think the domestication of birds of prey is fowl.

    I hope no public money was used to fund that dudes hobbies.

  5. 5 randosteve Jul 15th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    brad…there are only four permanent raptor residents at the center. they are injured (ie, one eye blind, broken wings) and can’t be released back into the wild. teton raptor center is non-profit and does good things to protect the raptors in the jackson hole area.

  6. 6 Brad Samuelson Jul 15th, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Sorry for the misunderstanding. My comment is not geared toward the rescue center, just the plane flying, parachuting video.

  7. 7 randosteve Jul 15th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    no worries hombre. but falconry sure sounds cool.

  8. 8 Brad Samuelson Jul 15th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Falconry seems more like exploitation to me. Kinda like having a pet rhino. To each is own though.

  9. 9 randosteve Jul 15th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    yeah brad…i see what you mean. kinda like riding a horse, or having a hunting dog too…right?

  10. 10 Brad Samuelson Jul 16th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    That’s why I say to each is own. I love my dogs, cats and farm animals but Ill never own a bird, fish, or reptile. It’s just not for me.

  11. 11 Chris Jul 16th, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Don’t you mean GREAT horned owl? Also not sure the Merlin is the smallest raptor in north america – Kestrels are much smaller.

  12. 12 randosteve Jul 16th, 2010 at 8:27 am

    yeah chris…flailed on the owl. i swear they said the merlin was the smallest…but the TRC website says different…so you might be correct.


  13. 13 RandoBigSis Jul 16th, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Cool birds bro – hope you and RandoMom are having fun – steamy here in Boston…..

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