Link to photo dump.
We didn't set out to see yet another raptor show (the first having been at Warwick Castle). It just kind of happened. David (my brother), Cyndie (his wife), my dad and I had found a nice spot in the gardens of the Yorkshire Museum, passing some time until the tour buses would return to pick us up. We had noticed some people in a tent labeled "Owl Adventures."
For a fee you could hold and pose with their birds. (They aren't ruthless exploitative capitalists. The money they make goes to support a raptor rescue facility.) Here's one of the people who paid for the privilege:
That magnificent creature she's holding is a Eurasian eagle owl. I would not want him angry with me.
I later got this shot of him standing on the lawn:
Those eyes are just OMG!
It just happened that Owl Adventures was about to start a show while we were nearby, so we moved over to watch. In the few minutes we were there before the show began, a couple of their stars were kind enough to pose for me.
The first is an American kestrel. The second is some kind of owl (obviously), but I have now forgotten the exact species. Just comparing pictures of likely candidates, I suspect it is a little owl.
The show began, and, well, I don't have any good pictures from it because it turns out that all the other raptors are just as hard as the eagle and the condor to catch in flight with a camera, even if you know exactly where they're going to be. (You'd think a bright guy like me would have been able to extrapolate that from the Warwick Castle experience. I guess I'm a slow learner.)
Those right there were the best two pictures in the batch. So--yeah. Moving on...
I did manage to catch a kind of cute video of that huge eagle owl flying low over a line of volunteers:
Just about the last thing in the show was going to be a falcon flying. They asked for two volunteers from the audience, and my brother and I stepped forward. They arranged our arms into a loop, and had the falcon fly through.
How did I manage to take a picture of myself when there was a falcon flying through my arms, you ask? I didn't. That was taken by my sister-in-law, Cyndie, with her excellent Nikon D40.
And thus endeth our day in York. And, in fact, that was our last day in England. The next day, after a quick buzz through the lake country of northwest England, we would cross into Scotland. Stay tuned.