Soarin’ Hawk members show 5 birds of prey at 4-H Fair


Katie Cooper from the Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehabilitation Center holds “Peabody,” a barn owl, during Wednesday’s prorgram at the log cabin during the 4-H Fair. (Photo by Barbara Barbieri)

Five birds visiting from the Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehabilitation Center caught the eyes of 4-H Fair goers Wednesday evening as they held court at the log cabin area of the park.

The visit began with Mary Koher telling about the center’s mission to accomplish five R’s—rescue, rehabilitate, release, re-home and re-nest injured and orphaned birds of prey. She then explained that raptors eat meat, have sharp eyes, big ears, sharp beaks and sharp talons. And if there were no raptors around we would be inundated with rodents.

Then it was time to meet the birds. First up was screech owl Frankie being handled by Nicole. He was followed by a kestrel (sometimes called a sparrow hawk) handled by Mary.

A barn owl named Peabody, being held by Katie Cooper, attracted the attention of a park resident robin who did warning fly-by during the demonstration. A thing that often happens in the wild it was explained.

A great horned owl named Dude was next to appear with Nicole and last to make an appearance was Ruby, a red tailed hawk (sometimes called a chicken hawk) handled by Koher.

Following the introduction to all of the birds members of the audience were invited to come and have photos taken with Ruby, Dude or Peabody.

When Koher was asked what someone should do if they found an injured bird she explained they should not try to pick it up. An option would be to cover it with a blanket or put a box over it and call them at 260-241-0134 or e-mail to

Information on how to become a Rescue Family by providing donations or sponsoring a bird’s recovery were shared. Other shared information included how to become a volunteer for the group and how to  register for a Kroger Shoppers card to benefit the Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehabilitation group.