Tag Archives: Birds

Another week at “The Libby”

The sharp shinned hawk, front facing view

The sharp shinned hawk, rear facing view

The week after mom and I discovered the weekly animal shows at the Libby Museum, my son and husband were visiting and so we made a point of going to the presentation by the science center. This week they had three animals, all birds, a different Sharp Shined Hawk, a Saw Whet owl and a Falcon.  The owl was very tiny and very cute!  When my son was a young boy he aspired to be a falconer and seeing the falcon reminded him of that goal again.

All the animals at the Squam Lake Science Center are there because they have been orphaned or injured and could not be returned to the wild.  The falcon was brought in with a broken wing and you can see that his wing droops a bit lower than the other wing.  He either was hit by a car or ran into a power line, they aren’t sure which.


The animal handler had a great visual of the owl’s eyes.  If we humans were to have eyesight as good as that of this little owl our eyes would have to be this big!

Not much space left on our faces if we humans had eyes this big!

This is how the talons of a raptor close in around the prey.


The Libby Museum

The Libby Museum at Winter Harbor on Lake Winnipesaukee is owned by of the town of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.  The museum, is celebrating their 100 anniversary this year.  When my own two boys were small they spent many years enrolled in nature programs at “The Libby”, as it is affectionately known.

One Wednesday this summer, my mother and I stopped by and they happened to have a program with three live animals led by the naturalists from the Squam Lake Science Center.  They had a Sharp Shined Hawk, a box turtle and a real live beaver!

I learned that box turtles have a large habitat of about 100 acres and that they know all about the food sources in their personal habitat as they are very territorial.  If you remove them from this habitat to captivity and then go to release them later and do not release them in the same spot where you got them from they will not survive.  Southern New Hampshire is the only part of the state where you find box turtles which explains why we don’t see them up at Lake Winnipesaukee.  Hawks have very light skeletons with holes in the bone so they can fly fast and beavers have a peculiar odor!

Most of the animals at the museum are stuffed.  Not cute little sewn from fabric animals, but taxidermied animals, which means they once were alive and after they died the skin, fur and hair were preserved.  After removing the organs the animals were stuffed to make them look real again.  Here are some photos of the live animals from the science center visiting The Libby Museum.

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Hogwart’s letter in the mail?

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Yesterday Bob and I went to Cub Run Recreation Center in Centreville VA because I had heard that a mother Great Horned Owl had two owlets in a nest there.  I expected that we may have a chance to see them but had no idea how easy that would be.

They are clearly visible from the path right next to the Rec. Center looking over the Westfield High School football field with the noise of the airplanes taking off from Dulles overhead.  I was amazed that such a majestic animal would be in what I considered so open a space.  The mother is no longer in the nest with them but I suspect she wasn’t too far away even though I never saw her.  They were beginning to flap their wings some but not to really fledge yet.

I am thrilled that these types of animals make Fairfax County home.

Here are a few pictures we took with the lens we bought to take with us to Africa.


Because Kruger is in the southern hemisphere it was just beginning to be summer time when we were there.  The temperatures were in the 70s and 80s, the sun was high in the sky and it was beginning to rain so the vegetation was starting to green up and fill in.

Many of the birds who live in Europe migrate to southern Africa for the winter and Kruger park’s topography and vegetation attract many species to the area.  While we are not knowledgable bird watchers we tried very hard to pay attention to the birds we saw and to photograph them as we drove through the park and visited camps and picnic grounds.  There certainly were lots of large animals and mammals to take pictures of but we also wanted to be sure we did not leave out the smaller animals and especially the birds.

We ended up with hundreds of photos of birds and were able to identify (thanks to some guide books) over 30 different birds from small bee eaters to raptures like the African Fish Eagle.  We saw amazing large birds like ostrich, herron, and storks also.   Over the next few posting I will share some of the best of our bird sightings.  Here are two photos of a Comb Duck also called a Knobbilled Duck.

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