Day 246—Men In Skirts

I spent the day at the San Francisco Caledonian Club’s annual Scottish Games in Pleasanton. Lots of men in skirts. Nary a wimp among them. Those Scots are pretty macho. They’re not afraid to wear skirts. Very few women there had skirts on. I was there at the request of the California Foundation for Birds of Prey, my hawk rescue group, to take photos of the event and the shows they presented to the mesmerized crowds. The Scots were also falconers, going back centuries, and many of the members of the CFBP are falconers as well so it makes sense that the CFBP attend the Scottish Games.

I used my 24-70mm lens for all the shots.

Here are a few of those macho men in skirts.

And here are Cleo and Mike. Mike is Cleo’s handler, caretaker, trainer, and life saver. This is clearly a loving relationship… a boy and his … eagle? Cleo is a golden eagle who cannot be released because she has limited vision as a result of contracting West Nile virus as a fledgling. She is one of many CFBP ambassador/education birds.

And here is Jack Sparrowhawk, a kestrel, once called a sparrow hawk although he is not a hawk but the smallest north American falcon. Like Cleo, Jack is a CFBP ambassador and education bird. He imprinted on humans after well-intentioned but misguided people found him and tried to raise him as a pet; as a result he cannot be released because he does not know how to hunt.

This is TJ, a Harris’s hawk. He is a falconer’s personal bird and he, along with Cleo, was a highlight of the show today. He was released to free fly through the delighted crowd to the stage.

And, TJ with Bridgette, his handler.

And last but not least, this is Ozzie, a four month old Screech Owl who also cannot be released because he, too, imprinted on humans. He is destined to replace Bob, a 17 year old CFBP screech owl who will be retiring soon from public life.