No. But I guess we don’t get to choose, do we? It’s here and at the rough-legged_hawk 2 for blogBlack Hills Raptor Center that means we really have our work cut out for us.

We have begun building the housing for what we call the “EFB”, or Enigmatic Fifth Bird. It’s an enigma because of how the US Fish & Wildlife handles the permitting process for educational centers like us. We must first have housing built according to minimum standards and approved before we bring in the bird. We have put out the word that we are looking for a rough legged hawk, or a ferruginous hawk, and now we have to wait.

The housing will be done fairly soon, and the approval will work through its normal process to be granted. Hopefully around that time we will hear from a raptor rehabilitation center or another education center that they have a candidate for adoption. At that point we submit the paperwork to have the bird transferred to us. But until then, this bird is a mystery!

With the wrong mindset this would be wildly frustrating, but we understand why it is so seemingly convoluted. The regulations insure we have the necessary housing well before the bird arrives. Other regulations are there to make it extremely difficult for unscrupulous people to be swapping and trading birds of prey without oversight. In the end, it’s the welfare of a very valuable and wonderful living, breathing creature that is at stake. That’s why we see the US Fish & Wildlife as a critical partner in our education center.

Somewhere out there “EFB” is perched for the night. Someone is caring for him or her and worrying about his/her future. Sometime, soon we hope, the answer to the enigma will be revealed. Meanwhile, we again extend our deepest and most heartfelt grattitude to everyone that contributed to the successful fund drive to get this enigmatic fifth bird.

Stay tuned, we hope to soon release some even bigger news!

Photo courtesy of Doug Backlund, Pierre, SD