Hungry hawk fascinates kids at Ela library

  • A red-tailed hawk holds its rope as "Royal Falconer" Mark Booth showcases his birds of prey Monday at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich. Booth exhibited a red-tailed hawk, a kestrel falcon and a peregrine falcon.

      A red-tailed hawk holds its rope as "Royal Falconer" Mark Booth showcases his birds of prey Monday at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich. Booth exhibited a red-tailed hawk, a kestrel falcon and a peregrine falcon. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • "Royal Falconer" Mark Booth holds a red-tailed hawk as he showcases his birds of prey Monday at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich.

      "Royal Falconer" Mark Booth holds a red-tailed hawk as he showcases his birds of prey Monday at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Gilbert R. Boucher II
gboucher@dailyherald.com
Updated 2/15/2016 2:57 PM

Children gasped and laughed as a red-tailed hawk named Jack fed on a small dead mouse the falconer gave to the hunting bird Monday at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich.

More than 60 children, parents and caregivers learned about birds of prey from Mark Booth, of Take Flight! Wildlife Education, while the falconer showcased several birds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I work with birds of prey and they have been thought to be cool for thousands of years. They were particularly a big deal during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance when falconry and the hunting with birds of prey was a very big social deal," Booth said as he put on a heavy glove to hold the birds during the show.

Booth, who calls himself the "Royal Falconer," exhibited a red-tailed hawk, kestrel falcon and peregrine falcon as he introduced the audience to the history and habits of the various birds of prey.

Children watch as a red-tailed hawk eats a dead mouse while "Royal Falconer" Mark Booth showcases his birds of prey Monday at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich. Booth told the children about the history of falconry and hunting with red-tailed hawks and other birds of prey.
  Children watch as a red-tailed hawk eats a dead mouse while "Royal Falconer" Mark Booth showcases his birds of prey Monday at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich. Booth told the children about the history of falconry and hunting with red-tailed hawks and other birds of prey. - Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

"It was good for my older kids. They enjoyed learning about the different birds," said Julie Garrow of Lake Zurich who brought her children Anna, 8, Evan, 4, and Kara, 2 to see the birds. "My son was fascinated by watching the hawk eat a mouse. He was telling me all about it."

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