Carolyn, our local falconer friend, alerteed us to a wonderful seminar hosted by wildlife photographer Neil Rettig and his harpy eagle, Cal.
It was my first time seeing a harpy up so close outside of a zoo. They are such spectacular birds!
Neil Rettig is a famous wildlife photographer and falconer. He has worked with National Geographic and made the film 'Harpy, spirit of the ceiba tree' and worked on Raptor Force. He is also a long time falconer and flies Cal as a hunting bird.
Neil actually lives in Wisconsin and has a special heated mews for Cal, since tropical eagles aren't built for our midwestern winters.
Huge bird, impressive wingspan! Being a male, Cal is actually a small harpy.
Look at that crazy neck!
Neil uses Cal to run educational seminars across the country, promoting conservation.
Enough of this already!
The best part of the seminar was when Neil was explaining what harpy eagles eat in the wild - a variety of food but especially sloths and small primates. At that moment someone's five year old went running across the front of the auditorium - Cal took one look at the girl, hunkered down, and leaped. He was leashed, of course, but it was incredibly amusing. Small primates indeed. ;)
The seminar was wonderful, it was hosted at the Eagle Bluff Nature Center in southern Minnesota as part of their Dinner on the Bluff series. Highly recommended if you're in the area!
It was a wonderful, raptorful month!