nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
Archives | Subscribe | Guide to the Daily


Local News arrow Fairs & Festivals arrow Shenandoah County

| 0 | 0 Comments

Look into the eyes of a predator

1BirdsFair_9_1_11.jpg
View larger image

Jason Caldwell, director of Raptors Up Close of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., holds a barred owl, one of several birds of prey featured at his display at the Shenandoah County Fair. Rich Cooley/Daily






2BirdsFair_9_1_11.jpg
View larger image

This great horned owl is part of the Raptors Up Close exhibit at the Shenandoah County Fair. Rich Cooley/Daily

3BirdsFair_9_1_11.jpg
View larger image

This red-tailed hawk is part of the Raptors Up Close display at the Shenandoah County Fair. Rich Cooley/Daily


Birds of prey swoop down on Shenandoah County Fairgrounds

By Preston Knight -- pknight@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- By becoming an expert on birds of prey, Jason Caldwell is also sort of a master of the human sexes.

Men will see the birds that he takes out on display and normally comment on how cool they look and move on. Women will react the way Donia Ryman, of Mt. Jackson, did at the Shenandoah County Fair this week.

"They're so cute you just want to reach out and pet one," she said.

Caldwell said: "I know. Try to control yourself. ... The problem is, they don't like love. They like death."

Raptors Up Close, of which Caldwell serves as the director, is a new exhibit at the fair this year. Several birds of prey are on display -- not to be touched -- as a way to educate the public about how the raptors survive in the wild and what conservation steps have been taken to keep them from becoming endangered.

Caldwell, who is based in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., receives injured birds after they go through rehabilitation and also takes in "impacted" birds, which are illegally brought in from the wild and fed by humans.

He goes to a wide variety of events, including birthday parties, churches, libraries and schools. All of the birds on display at the fair, except one, are native to Virginia.

In teaching children about predators, Caldwell tells them to look at the eyes. If the eyes are to the side of the head, that means an animal is always on the look out, seemingly concerned for its safety. For the predators, eyes are in front, always focused on doing damage ahead, Caldwell said.

Of the birds at the fair, the great horned owl has the potential to cause the most pain, he said. It can squeeze 500 pounds per square inch, whereas an average man could squeeze 60 pounds, Caldwell said. And the owl has claws.

To showcase the bird's aggressive style, Caldwell walked toward its perch. Its mouth immediately opened and a claw rose. There was no doubt what was on its mind.

"They retain a wild nature," Caldwell said. "They live to eat."

That's why, if you were really wondering, they would not make good pets. If the birds are full, they have no need for you.

"It's a one-sided relationship," Caldwell said.

That hasn't stopped children from enjoying them at the fair this week. In contrast to the normal assortment of livestock to see, several youths were excited to get a glimpse of something different.

"The falcon looks like he's about to kick something," said Danielle Holsinger, 11, of Strasburg.

She made noises at the great horned owl and seemed to be getting a response.
"They're really cool," Danielle said.

One of the popular birds of the week is an owl that lost its right eye as a result of a car crash. That was one Ryman could see herself hugging. It's also one, like the others, Caldwell can see taking no appreciation for such a human act of affection.

"I have to explain to them that the owls don't love them," he said.






Leave a comment

What do you think?

(You may use HTML tags for style)

Comments

Comments that are posted on nvdaily.com represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com.

Comments that contain Web addresses, e-mail addresses, personal attacks, name-calling or personal information considered by the editor to be inappropriate for posting here will not be posted.

Commenters agree to abide by our COMMENTS POLICY when posting. Questions? E-mail us at info@nvdaily.com.



opinions powered by SendLove.to









top-jobs-logo.jpg



Local News Sections

Agriculture Apple Blossom Festival Basye Berryville Big Picture Bob Wooten Boyce Breaking News Business Business Spotlight Civil War Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Earthquake Economy and Jobs Edinburg Edward N. Bell Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fall 2010 Fire & Rescue Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jody Lynn Bradley Justin Shane Slater Ledger Livestock Local Government Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mt. Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Quicksburg Recreation Regional jail Religion School News Sept. 11 Shenandoah County Shenandoah National Park Star Tannery Stephens City Strasburg Technology The Year in Review Toms Brook Tourism Traffic & Transportation Video In The Spotlight Warren County Weather Winchester Woodstock








News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Homes | Classifieds
Guide to the Daily: Advertise | Circulation | Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

nvdaily.com
Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!


nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com