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Around The Grange
Cheshire Grange Birds of Prey Program Educates, Entertains

By Terri Fassio, Public Relations Co-Director

  APRIL 22, 2011 --

Hawks, owls and falcons are most frequently seen in the wild, but it's not often you find them in a Grange Hall.  A near capacity crowd gathered at Cheshire Grange Hall on Wednesday evening, April 20, to experience a special program on raptor rehabilitation presented by Horizon Wings of Ashford.

Horizon Wings, a non-profit organization, was formed in 2001 by Mary Beth Kaeser and her husband, Alan Nordell.  They showed four birds as part of their presentation - a Barred Owl named Emrys, a Red-Tailed Hawk named Dakota, Chico, a Broad-Winged Hawk, and a Peregrine Falcon named Athena.  Each animal has their own story on how they were injured, rescued, and now cared for.  A three-legged Box Turtle named Beamer, who is Horizon Wings' mascot, was also part of the program. 

Ruel Miller, President of Cheshire Grange, was very pleased with the presentation. "It was a great evening at Cheshire Grange, just like the good old days," he said. "I was very proud of everything and the way things were presented. We take pride in our programs and how we present ourselves to the public."

The hour-long presentation focused on the behavior and characteristics of birds of prey as well as their environmental challenges, and included a discussion on the environment and recycling cans, plastic, plastic cups, and fishing lines, all of which pose a peril to birds and ground mammals.

The program was sponsored by Cheshire Grange's Family Activities committee.  The committee had a display table showing the various projects and contests for the year, introduced the presentation, and hosted a successful tea-cup auction, full of many wonderful items including a variety of homemade baked goods, to close the evening.

Connecticut State Grange President Jody Cameron and his family made the trek to Cheshire Grange for the evening.  "Our hats go off to Horizon Wings for the incredible work they're doing," Cameron said.  "It was a fabulous, educational, entertaining evening. The hall was filled with Cheshire Grange members and visiting Granges from across the state, as well as many friends of the Grange. Everyone came away with a new appreciation for these beautiful birds."

Cheshire Grange, organized in 1885, has been active in the Cheshire community for over 125 years through their service projects, agricultural fair, numerous family-oriented activities and special events.   For information on Cheshire Grange, contact Ruel Miller at 203-272-8255.

For more information on the organization, please visit the Connecticut State Grange website at http://www.CTStateGrange.org.

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