Although the skies were overcast, the wind was blowing and the temperature hovered around 45 degrees, over 70 people showed up at the Pavillion at Blanco State Park on New Year's Day to “experience” the Eagle Lady and visit with her birds of prey.
Doris Mager, who founded the non-profit organization Save Our American Raptors (S.O.A.R.) is a nationally recognized raptor rehabilitator. On New Year's Day she entertained adults and children alike with her stories about saving and rehabilitating raptors, traveling the country with them, and spending time doing what she loves best – sharing these marvelous specimens of nature with the public.
She educated the audience on the hunting habits, nesting habits, weight and digestive systems, flight patterns and wings, imprinting, and overall appearance and lifestyles of owls and hawks. She was accompanied by ET the Great Horned Owl, an Eastern Screech Owl, and an American Kestrel (also known as a Sparrow Hawk – the smallest of the raptor kingdom).
Doris also made sure to point out the importance of never trying to make a raptor (even a baby that has fallen from a nest) into a pet. She stressed that whenever possible, try to return babies to the nest or a makeshift shelter until the adult parent birds are able to return and take care of the baby.
Doris' visit to Blanco State Park was jointly sponsored by Friends of Blanco State Park and by the Highland Lakes Chapter of Master Naturalists. Given that the audience remained throughout the presentation, asked questions afterwards, and got up close and personal with the birds, these were good indications that the event was worth braving the inclement weather conditions and was enjoyed by all.