Nestled in Brockdale Park, a prairie paradise overlooking Lake Lavon in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, Blackland Prairie Raptor Center (BPRC) is home to gorgeous birds of prey. Cravin’ avian awesomeness? Here you go:
Peregrine Falcon / Blackland Prairie Raptor Center
Did you know that peregrine falcons reach speeds upwards of 320 km/hour (200 miles/hour) when stooping?! Another cool fact: the traditional term for a male falcon is tercel. Makes me want to run out and buy a Toyota Tercel, which I doubt is even manufactured anymore.
Red-Tailed Hawk / Blackland Prairie Raptor Center
Easy to see why the red-tailed hawk got its name.
Red-Tailed Hawk again
From the BPRC website: “All of our raptor ambassadors have come to BPRC with circumstances that make them non-releasable. Due to their injuries or conditions, they would not be able to survive on their own in the wild. They have become the ambassadors for all wild birds of prey by educating the public about the issues concerning their future.”
Stunning ambassadors they sure are! Okay now, prepare for cute overload:
Screech Owl / Blackland Prairie Raptor Center
See how small this owl scales before the human! I think this one is called Sweet Pea. So cute, I want to pat her on the head and and give her a lollipop. Pretty sure she’ll want a mouse instead.
Screech Owl again
Barred Owl / Blackland Prairie Raptor Center
Named for the bars on its chest, the barred owl has an easily recognizable call: Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all? A BPRC volunteer quipped that they call this one Shakespeare because he’s a bard owl. LOL.
Apart from a fantastic presentation by dedicated volunteers featuring the above raptors and a few others, including two other screech owls, a great horned owl, a barn owl, a kite, and a kestrel, volunteers led prairie walks filled with cool facts about the flora.
Maximilian Sunflower in Brockdale Park
Eryngo is a prairie plant with purple flower heads shaped like pineapples, each about as big as your thumb.
Eryngo in Brockdale Park
Here’s the water wheel on site at the park. In the background you can see a deck with a roof shaped like the wings of a raptor in flight. Volunteers had set up a spotting scope on the deck for up-close views of birds visiting the lake.
Water Wheel in Brockdale Park
BPRC’s offerings include First Saturdays, their on-site programming the first Saturday of every month. One such event drew me there and that’s how these pictures came about. You’ll find details on First Saturdays and more on their website.
You should go. You’ll have a hoot!
Great Horned Owl / Blackland Prairie Raptor Center