World Bird Sanctuary program. The great hall was packed, and the tickets for the three earlier programs had already been claimed. My gut feeling that we needed to arrive early proved to be correct for a change.
Audubon to the Prairie Rivers Network, which J. joined. I spent most of the time speaking with a representative of the Wildlife Prairie State Park near Peoria, which I had visited in the early 1990s as a Lincoln Park Zoo docent. The female black bear, whose claws had been extracted by a private "owner," is still there, with an offspring and a different male. The male we had seen died from intestinal blockage after ingesting a ball that a thoughtless visitor had thrown into the exhibit. This ignorant person probably never knew the consequences of his or her action. I wonder quite a bit about this kind of things—how often it happens that we do something seemingly harmless that results in grave consequences, to which we remain forever oblivious.
At the end, they brought out a raven to collect to donations. If you handed him $5 or more, he "billed" you a Wild Bird Sanctuary medallion. His large bill and quick, aggressive movements made several people, including the children, withdraw their vulnerable hands quickly as he snatched the money, again more an instinctive reaction than a rational fear. I was amused to note that he'd been trained to show his handler the money before he dropped it into the box so she would know whether to give him a medallion to present to the giver. Teamwork!
This time, we took the canyon road, Illinois 71, to Ottawa. This way winds along the Illinois River and Starved Rock canyons, and we saw only a few cars in the darkness for the next several miles. And so to Bianchi's again for pizza and pop—an easier meal than fish from cold water.