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A Celebration of Life (but not the weather)

Walking the shore of Lake Wausau before the festivities began. Snow began only minutes earlier, but it didn't stop people from coming out. Photo by Lisadawn.

According to the calendar we've been enjoying the spring season for over a month now.  Evidently someone forgot to tell Old Man Winter.  Despite the sudden snow squalls coming in off of Lake Wausau, Lisadawn and I were very fortunate to be able to witness the release of several of Raptor Education Group's latest "former patients" Sunday afternoon.

Marge Gibson of Raptor Education Group prepares to release a rehabilitated Common Loon during a sudden snow squall on Lake Wausau.
Marge Gibson braving the weather before the release of a Common Loon.
As Marge Gibson prepared the first lucky participant for release, a Common Loon, a considerable crowd braved the weather to join in the celebration.

This Common Loon was struck by a car, but nursed back to health by Raptor Education Group and released back into the wild.
A Common Loon turns to greet the crowd after it's release.
Once out of the box and back into the wild, this beautiful bird turned to view the crowd for a few moments before swimming out into the wind, treating us with a few wing flaps and then issuing that beautiful distinctive call of the loon.  After an appreciative applause from the crowd, it slipped beneath the waves and was off to join its own kind once again.

Visually stunning feather patterns adorn the Common Loon. Equally remarkable is there beautiful call.
As visually stunning as their call is beautiful.  Photo by Lisadawn.

Next up, a beautiful juvenile red-tailed hawk.

Marge Gibson from Raptor Education Group prepares a juvenile red-tailed hawk for release back into the wild.
A juvenile red-tailed hawk sets its eyes on the great expanse before it. 
 After being removed from the crate by Marge and posing for a few photos, this lucky fellow was handed over to the youngest member of "Team REGI" and, with a little instruction from the best, was successfully released back into the snowflakes to resume its life wild and free.

The youngest member of "Team REGI" positions a rehabilitated red-tailed hawk for release.
A future "rehaber" in the making? Marge provides some final instruction before the release. Photo by Lisadawn.
Soaring off into the snowflakes, this red-tailed hawk was rehabilitated and released by Raptor Education Group.
Off into the great white north that has been Wisconsin's spring.
Stop back tomorrow and we'll complete the story with the release of the Red-necked Grebe.  See you then!

Related: A Celebration of Life Continued


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