footed.

On Sunday I rehabilitated a great horned owl out at the raptor center. It was a lot of fun, and I received my first “injury” from an owl – she managed to foot me (grab me with her foot) as I was trying to catch her. We catch the birds by first grabbing the legs, and then pinning the wings while holding the bird upside down and then lifting it to our chest once the wings are secure. Sometimes, the birds get angry (!) when you catch them, so they protect themselves however they can. This is usually by using their talons, which are razor-frickin’-sharp.

The funny thing is that she managed to perfectly encircle my owl tattoo, which is on the inside of my left forearm with her talons, thus leaving four perfect scratch marks from her four toes / talons. I was wearing two layers of shirt along with leather falconer gloves (which weren’t long enough, apparently) and the owl still left a mark! I can only imagine what would have happened if she had touched bare skin. I doubt I would even have a tattoo left.

(Three on top, one on the bottom right.)

I almost wish it had been a bit worse than just scratches – like Amanda pointed out, if the marks left a scar it would add meaning to the tattoo, which I got just a few days after I began rehabbing back in May. But I doubt these scratches will do anything but fade within a few days.

I’m sure my body will be graced with many more scratches, punctures, and bites as I work more with the birds, so I will proudly show off any battle wounds I receive. Until next time…

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