Birds of prey swoop into Marion Natural History Museum

By Tanner Harding | Jul 08, 2017
Photo by: Tanner Harding Vinny Malone holds a broad wing hawk.

Marion — There are countless different species that exist on the planet, and each one has a purpose.

Each animal has a different role in our ecosystem, and as Vinny Malone told a crowd at the Marion Natural History museum on Friday July 7, each animal has the specific tools to do their job.

Malone visited from the Blue Hills Trailside Museum to speak specifically about birds of prey. He explained the different types of beaks in birds, and how birds of prey have sharp, hooked beaks to tear apart meat. Additionally, birds of prey have sharp talons, which other birds do not.

“When I say birds of prey I mean hawks, falcons, osprey, eagles and owls,” Malone said. Raptors is also synonymous with birds of prey.

Malone then brought out three different types of birds: a broad wing hawk, a peregrine falcon and a screech owl.

The falcon is the fastest animal on Earth, and has been recorded reaching speeds up to 240 miles per hour.

“It catches its food in the air, not on the ground,” Malone said, explaining its long talons.

He also pointed out the shape of the wings and bones in its beak that allowed it to reach such great speeds. These specific features were used to help better design planes and fighter jets.

When birds end up in rehabilitation with Malone, he said it’s unlikely for them to ever be able to go back to the wild. However, he said it’s important for people to take care of animals.

“Humans are the only species who help other species,” he said. “It’s why we have the nickname ‘the compassionate species.’”

The peregrine falcon is the fastest animal on Earth. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
(Photo by: Tanner Harding)
The screech owl is the second smallest owl in the state. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
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