I love raptors. We have hawks in the neighborhood, either Cooper's or sharp-shinned (which differ mainly in size, so it's hard to tell) and peregrine falcons, plus owls. I've seen other hawks, kestrels and possibly an eagle at the dog park.
So of course I was pleased to get a gander at these birds from Nature's Educators at the Denver County Fair.
This Harris's hawk named Zeus was given to the center by a falconer. Since he was raised by humans, he wouldn't know how to live in the wild. He was very interested in all the activity around him but was also remarkably relaxed.
The great horned owl, Athena, though, seemed pretty stressed out, panting heavily and getting all flappy.
Her handler said all the hustle and bustle of the fair was a little much for an animal that can hear the blood moving through your veins. See how her ears are turned down? She's trying to cut out some of the noise.
Athena is missing a wingtip and a talon, possibly after being electrocuted. She was found under a power line in Nebraska.
I had to share with her handler something I'd seen recently: Eagle Love Story: Injured Mates Reunited At Rehab Center. You should read it, too.