Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Scottish Games

On October 1, 2011 the World Bird Sanctuary participated in the Scottish Games event held annually in Forest Park.
  Some of the Scottish Dancers with Roger Wallace and Clark the Bald Eagle just prior to the dancers' competition. 
The World Bird Sanctuary had Birds of Prey on display as we have in the past, but the highlights of this year’s event were to be the free flights by our star--Clark the Bald Eagle.

We were blessed with a gorgeous sunny fall day out in the park. The sights and sounds of the games put everyone into the spirit of the day--the bagpipes and bagpipers strolling around and tuning up, the antique cars parked near our bird weathering area under the big oak trees, the herding dogs, the sheep, the kilts and clan garb, and the games where men were grunting and tossing large objects.  Many clans had tents with their lineage and clan colors on display.
Walter Crawford and Roger Wallace preparing to fly Clark the Bald Eagle 
World Bird Sanctuary, represented by Clan Crawford and Clan Wallace had two time slots to fly Clark the Bald Eagle.  As Walter Crawford and Roger Wallace readied to fly the Eagle in the center of the main field at the center of the games there was a palpable sense of excitement and suspense. 

With all of the other activities still going on throughout the area would Clark do the right thing and fly to the right place?  With all the colors, activities, sporting competitions, dogs and sheep around I wasn't sure if Clark would be distracted and perhaps fly somewhere besides where we wanted him to--but not to worry.  Like the trooper he is, Clark did great. After the first set of flights people gathered around us to see the magnificent Bald Eagle.

Walt had asked me to be the speaker at the podium for the flights, and I introduced Walt Crawford of the Crawford Clan, Roger Wallace of the Wallace Clan, and Clark the Bald Eagle. After the first flight one elderly woman informed me that I should have introduced the men as being from Clan Crawford and Clan Wallace--not the Crawford Clan and the Wallace Clan.  I appreciated the lesson in Clan protocol, and later in the day for our 2nd exhibition I introduced the men as suggested.
 Erin Carter with Trucker, and Gina Staehle with Millenium available to answer questions about the birds
Also helping us that day were Erin Carter World Bird Sanctuary Intern from Kansas, Gina Staehle WBS Volunteer, and Marci Wallace Roger Wallace's sister.

In addition to Clark’s spectacular flights, we also brought several other birds for people to see.  The Birds on Display were Trucker the Swainson's Hawk, Twig the Eastern Screech Owl, Coal the Great Horned Owl, and Millenium the Peregrine Falcon. 

Submitted by Michael Zieloski, Wold Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

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