If you count “Inca,” the falcon who occasionally squawked loudly during Alina Blankenship’s presentation on birds of prey last week, we actually had two guest speakers!
Alina was introduced by John Kerekanich, and was also accompanied by falcons “Caspian” and “Siren,” and “Orion,” the owl.
She has a wildlife conservation facility in Molalla, and is licensed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do educational presentations. “All migratory birds are protected,” she said. “You have to be licensed to possess them.”
Some of Alina’s birds are “abatement” birds. They work with agricultural growers, who hire them to intimidate and scare off nuisance birds which cause loss of crop revenue. Others, such as Siren, a peregrine falcon, work landfills and airports to move gulls away.
Alina described these birds as “performance athletes.” Some have been clocked at 242 miles per hour. They are “hearing machines”–they have depth perception in their hearing– and have amazing vision. “Where we might be able to look down and see a bug, she can look and see a bug on a bug. We have a single focal point, they have two.”
“They are also smarter than we give them credit for,” she said.
Someone asked Alina if she was afraid of being bitten. “I’m actually more fearful of their talons,” she responded. “They have 350 pounds per square inch of pressure available.”
She said these birds have a 85-90% mortality rate their first year. “Falling out of the nest is actually learning to fly, but some don’t make it. I have a simple rule: If you can catch one of these, it needs to go to rehab. If you can’t catch it, it will probably be just fine and should be left alone.”
If you would like to learn more and donate to Perch, Alisa’s nonprofit (it’s only $20 to sponsor an owl), please go to www.ISaveWildlife.com.
Beth Pent from Attrell’s attended for the second week in a row. (Hopefully she’ll be joining our club????)
Shannon Buckmaster‘s daughter, Anna, joined us as well. Anna has been accepted into the Rotary student exchange program for an overseas study program this summer.
Paul Jellum brought “David” Gao, a visiting professor of international trade from China who is working at GFU this year.
Tony Lelack reported the dictionaries are here and ready for distribution to students. They need to have Rotary stickers applied prior to going out. If you would like to help, please contact Tony.
Rota-Dent Update: Grant Gerke reported that the International Chair of the Beaverton Club is supporting the development of a medical clinic in Uganda. They intend to outfit a full dental clinic there, but until it is built and ready, they will use Rota-Dent equipment.
UPCOMING CALENDAR ITEMS
Jeff Lane reported there will be an 11:30am get-together before our regular meeting this week to discuss getting the third School Resource Center up and running. Our club is helping to organize and staff these centers to help students. The Center at Mountain View Middle School is slated to open Nov. 3.
This week’s meeting will feature Mary Ann McCammon and the program “Quilts for Empowerment.”
Next week, Rotary Peace Fellow Bianca Neff will be our speaker. Bianca has lived in Kyrgystan, Kenya, Morocco, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. She now lives in Malaga, Spain. She is the founder and CEO of Petra Peacebuilders, an organization designed to help provide global peace builders with the emotional, mental and psychological support they need as they work in really tough places.