Mission Statement

Bearing Witness to Local Natural History-- from the wildness of Indiana

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Songs of Insects & Indiana Raptor Center

                                          ©Joni L. James

Songs of Insects
Check out my Songs of Insects Jukebox in the right margin! Learn to identify sounds of the night & day!

One of my goals this summer is to begin to learn the songs of insects. Last fall, I purchased the book, Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott & Wil Hershberger. It includes a CD of numerous insect songs. How gratifying to be able to identify the many beautiful sounds of the summer night. I did not realize how ingrained and comforting these symphonies of warm (or hot!) nights were to me.

I highly recommend this book and their website: http://www.musicofnature.org/songsofinsects/index.html. Be sure and check out the sounds of these common songs-- I know you have heard them!

Common True Katydid, Fall Field Cricket, Greater Anglewing, Lesser Anglewing, Nebraska Conehead, Scissor-grinder Cicada, Handsome Meadow Katydid, Swamp Cicada.
These are just a few of many you can listen to at their website.

Indiana Raptor Center (formerly Return to the Wild)
Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed a tour of the facilities at the Indiana Raptor Center located in Nashville, Indiana. The nonprofit organization is operated by President and executive director/rehabilitator Patti Reynolds and master falconer and education director, Laura Edmunds. Between them and their assistant, KayLee Witt, they have hundreds of hours training/education in the medical care & rehabilitation of raptors. Their mission involves rehabilitation, education, and conservation.

They currently have over 40 birds at their facility. Raptors I met included barred owls, screech owls, great-horned owls, Eurasian eagle owl, barn owl, red-tailed hawk, rough-legged hawk, Harris' hawk, African augur buzzard, peregrine falcon, gryfalcon/peregrine hybrid, American kestrels, bald eagles, turkey vulture, and one pigeon. I hope I did not leave "anyone" out. All were very endearing.

I also visited with Marcus Dopatka, a master taxidermist. His bird mounts are exquisite and his work can be seen at the Indiana State Museum as well as numerous parks.

Their work depends on funding through donations, fundraising events, and other non-profit organizations. They provide many educational programs to children and adults. Get involved and support their work through donation. Tours are available through appointment only--they are busy! Their website (although I don't know if this will be changing due to their recent name change: http://returntothewild.org/).

Thank you to the dedicated staff at IRC for not only the tour but for the service you provide to the raptors of Indiana.

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