Monday, September 19, 2022

Birds of Prey and Such

Last week I saw an advertisement for something called a Hawk Fest that was being held at Lake Erie Metropark about 45 minutes away from us.  

I thought it sounded interesting so on Saturday, I packed us a picnic lunch and we headed off. 

It was being sponsored by the Michigan Hawking Club. Who knew there was a Hawking Club? Here's what I took from their website: 

The Michigan Hawking Club is a non-political, non-profit organization whose purpose is preservation of the sport of falconry and conservation of birds of prey.  


The goals of the MHC are…

  • To promote recognition of falconry as a legal field sport and support the practice of falconry to the highest standards. 
  • To provide communication among, and to disseminate relevant information to, club members.
  • To promote scientific study of raptorial species, their care, welfare, and training.
  • To promote conservation of birds of prey and an appreciation for their value in nature and in wildlife conservation programs.
  • To establish traditions which will aid, perpetuate, and further the welfare of falconry, and the raptors it employs. 

Here is a description of the sport of falconry. 


Falconry is the sport of hunting wild game in its natural state with a trained bird of prey (raptor).

Falconry in various forms has existed for thousands of years and has been practiced by many cultures around the world. It is believed to have started somewhere in Central Asia and has spread from there.

The care, training, and hunting with a raptor cannot be considered the same as keeping a pet or any other domestic animal. This sport is extremely demanding, time consuming, and could even be described as a lifestyle. It requires A great deal of knowledge, skill, and commitment in order to be successful.

So, think what you may about this sport. I suppose you could be against trapping them to use for something like this and I'm not sure exactly what I think about it. From seeing these birds and listening to the owners though I can see they are well taken care of. 

We just went there to see some of them up close!  

I'll start with the smallest. This is a Northern Saw-whet owl. It was so cute! And only about 8 inches tall! You can kind of see the keeper's hand the bird is perched on.

This little barn owl. So cute and maybe about a foot tall. 

This is a red tail hawk. We see enough of those flying around here and sitting in trees but to see one up close was pretty cool! You can tell how big he is, too, and look at his fierce looking face! The keeper said his diet consists of mostly squirrels and when they dive, they only get their prey 20% of the time. However, I can personally attest to them loving doves, too, considering the pile of dove feathers we occasionally find on our lawn!   

The biggest bird there was this Great horned owl. He was magnificent! The keeper said their diet mainly consists of rabbits and they catch their prey 90% of the time! One time we heard one hooting in the pine tree outside our front door, but by the time Rich got a flashlight he had gone to a tree across the street! 

When someone asked if the hawk would kill the owl the keeper said the owl would kill the hawk! He said that if he carries the hawk past the owl's enclosure the owl starts screeching like crazy!

I was hoping they would have a bald eagle, but they didn't. I was also hoping to be able to hold one of them, but they didn't allow that either! 

Oh well, it was fun to see them anyway! 

Here I am sitting in a full-size model of an eagles nest! 

After a while we drove to a picnic area and had lunch. 

Then we did a little metal detecting after making sure it was allowed and getting a permit! 

We found 3 dimes, six pennies, 2 sinkers and a vape!

In other news:

Levi was able to start Pre-K a little early instead of waiting until he turns 4 on the 27th. Shauna has time for herself now Monday-Thursday from 12-3! 

I'll leave you with ponderings from Maxwell. 

Look at that little pouty face! 

Until the next time stay safe and well my friends! 


  1. School . . . It’s just like work! Poor kid!

    Birds are fascinating to me. I didn’t know hawks would eat other birds. I’ve only seen them grab chipmunks here, but I have seen Blue Jay feathers in the yard, so now I’m wondering!

    We have a Barred Owl that we see a lot. He likes the fir trees by our bathroom. I’m sort of scared of him!

  2. Amazing!!
    Wow that nest sure is big!!

  3. I would have loved to go to the Hawk Fest!! I wish there was something like that around here. You got great pics and info!!!

  4. Ohh I know I would love to have seen that Hawking club and how beautiful and majestic those owls are.

  5. That sounds so interesting! I think owls are so cool looking and hawks are majestic.
    Yay for Levi and poor, poor Maxwell... :)

  6. How fascinating with all the birds of prey you saw, Jeanette, and the info you shared with us about them. My favorite birds are hawks. They are magnificent to watch flying in the sky. Wow with the size of the eagle's nest! Sounded like a nice adventure for you, including the metal detector's finds :) So cute with Maxwell. I wonder if he has contemplated how many years he will be in school (not counting college :) Glad Levi was able to start Pre-K. Nice for them to get out and about with peers :)


  7. That sounds like an interesting event. That would be pretty cool to get an up close look at those birds.

  8. Awwww..... little Levi & Maxwell!!! Such cutie patooties, both!!! And you're a mighty darling cutie patootie yourself, kiddo! But that nest doesn't look too comfy! *haha* I swear there must be a club for just about any interest. Those birds are absolutely gorgeous and I'm glad you both went. A picnic lunch always rounds out a day nicely. ~Andrea xoxo

  9. Awwww look at Levi! And yes, Maxwell is a thinker for sure. Good to be inquisitive. We have a huge owl "whooo" lives around here. He attacked me once but I lived to blog about it. TG LOVES HAWKS. He always looks for them and goes on and on when he spots one. He would have loved this place you visited. And WOW the size of that eagle's nest! That is fascinating! Wonderful outing for you and Rich. xoxo

  10. This is right down my alley for entertainment...birder that I am. That of you in the eagle's nest bench is extraordinary!!

    We have a hawkwatch program each year (covid put a damper on it tho.)

  11. Sounds like you had a really great day! I didn't know until just last summer that Hawks will eat other birds. I watched one swoop down and grab a cardinal and fly off with it. Then I watched as one raided a birds nest and carried off a baby or two. Nature is cruel.

  12. Looks like a fun-filled day with lots of adventures, Jeanette. And that nest is huge. Holy cannoli, I had no idea.

  13. I love the pouty question and it makes perfect sense.

    I don't know iff you remember but last year we visited a falconry guy while in CA for vacation and it was the MOST interesting thing I've done. The birds are just amazing and I do remember him telling us that the Great Horned Owl was the biggest predator out of all. I'm so glad you guys did that and enjoyed it as well.

  14. Lol...what a cute pouty face! My goodness they start babies out early in school!
    Sounds like you had a sweet day outing!

  15. Wow I had no idea an eagle's nest would be so big. I do love owls, apart from the one that decided to build its nest in our guttering and poohed everywhere.

  16. Birds of Prey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  17. What a cool event to check out! I do love me some owls :)


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