This year Mother Nature was accommodating for Doris Mager's visit to Blanco State Park and she and her birds of prey were able to perform on a relatively mild winter day for a very appreciative, standing room only audience of park visitors. However, the presentation was barely over when a cold front arrived with breezy conditions and falling temperatures. Typical Texas weather!
Doris Mager, who founded the non-profit organization Save Our American Raptors (S.O.A.R.) is a nationally recognized raptor rehabilitator. Last Sunday 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 livestyles 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 sponsored by the Friends of Blanco State Park. Given that the audience remained throughout the presentation, asked questions afterwards, and got up-close and personal with the birds was a good indication that the event was worth a Sunday afternoon visit to the park.